Monday, 27 December 2010

Boxing Day Edition

Well it's Boxing Day Monday and I seem to have what some call the flu but never mind that will be dealt with on my terms.
I may add to this - don't know yet - but I guess the first things to say is as much as I have missed the company of other this year sadly, I had a enjoyable Christmas with freinds and people I know in the community here. It was minus 5Degrees outside !
The second is I decided around the time of the last post was I was going to open up and watch some anime sets I bought intending to view but during thru and immediately afterward my Uncles death I never felt up to.
I started off with Meoyo Ken which is a shortish Magical Girl series featuring monsters that disturb the balance of the community, a team that tracks down unlicensed monsters (the magical girls), a boy for added romantic interest with his pet monster cat and a few cat girls engaged in a battle.
Wildly funny in the best shoujo traditions with lots of in-jokes it brought a smile to my face.
Somewhat longer and more deeper intellectually I tackled Mushi-Shi which really a set of adventures narrated through Genki, a Mushi Meister about Mushi - primitive lifeforms - that have the potential for life and who live off the life that humans depend upon even to the point of taking human form. In many respects it touches on the need for man to understand all his environment, to recognize the difference between a liking of something and constitutes a danger to him and to learn to live with the whole natural world.
I had some money, vouchers a dvd and a recording of Anne-Sophie Mutter playing the Brahms Violin Concerts for Christmas all of which will come in handy for when the roads clear and it's possible to travel into town as the snow melts.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas Edition 2010



















More like it, eh? If Moomin was better behaved my tree could be that big!
Anyways, Christmas apart from its' spiritual significance to some of us is a time we use to is catch up with other people and maybe give thanks for those whose company we have enjoyed the previous 12 months.
I'd start of by thanking Dani and Feather in the Wind for sticking with me during the ups and sadly the downs emotionally this year when I just didn't really feel up to sending emails or posting at various places. You two mean a lot to me.
Thanks also to the Weird People of CR who managed to keep my sense of humour up on the darkest of days and the legendary Nisa.The rambling craziness really helped.
The crazy sharing music lovers of the Boneyard for the company, musical tips and the Music. Shh did we say that? Not forgetting Neo Forums for the cool anime and the great Luna Rain online buddy and cosplayer.
Also thanks for the Angelic Ones (tm) for being around and Sophie's one of a kind girl talk threads there. She's unique you know!

Wishing everyone a happy Christmas and a Cool Yule.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Raves from the grave!

Well I have eventually started to tackle the question of what to do about tracks I really liked from my mix tapes back in the 80's that I don't have either cds or even vinyl copies of cos I was skint at the time. They were tapped straight off of the radio on my Pioneer GhettoBlaster - a big somewhat expensive stereo radio cassette recorder that handled all sorts of tapes and had dolby to cut tape hiss for good measure.
I have decided to chase them on various music download sites and in time to group them in files.

So far I have gotten:
Billy Satellite: Satisfy Me Aug 84
Ratt: Round and Round July 84
Night Ranger Sister Christian June 84
Dwight Twilly Band: Girls April 84
Twisted Sister: We're Not Gonna take It '83)
Twisted Sister: I Am (I'm Me) (UK April 83)
Twisted Sister: I Wanna Rock (84)
Twisted Sister: Stay Hungry (84)
Twisted Sister: Leader Of The Pack
Twisted Sister: Come Out and Play

Friday, 17 December 2010

Almost there













Just days before the BIG Day so we're decorating the tree. Sounds pretty crazy I know but I just love getting out the tinsel, angels and decorating the tree. Mines half a tree cos that Moomin would climb up it if it was a floor mounted model so I have to mount it on the wall!

Don't you just love the colours of the baubles .

Just going to type up the Christmas message on Daytime Office Girl Crisis so if like to see it be sure to pay a visit.
Regards Caroline.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Final fling


















Almost ready for Christmas but there's been a few me things come in the mail recently.
First off, a short while ago the speciality reissue company Audio Fidelity put out a new version of Billy Joel's 'new wave' Glass Houses album from 1980, the one with 'It's Still Rock and Roll To Me' on it.

If you like Billy Joel as I do then you're no doubt familiar with numbers like 'All for Leyna' but what makes this so enjoyable is it hasn't had any extra narrowing of the quiet and loud passages applied to it so when those drums kick in you can tell! Plus it sounds really clear in the presence area great for Billy's voice and the percussion.The last edition of I bought was the 1998 Sony re-master which I have on Minidisc.
I really enjoyed this cd mastered by Kevin Gray and is likely to be my 'to go' version together with my Columbia Mastersounds gold cd copy of 52nd Street.
In the wait before Amazon US dispatches my copy on the same label of Phil Collin's Face Value album, I picked up a lovely sounding used UK Virgin copy of Hello,I Must Be Going album being without a cd of that album very cheaply.

I have Major's address to word up ready for next week folks!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Bunnies!

Not that long the big day, eh and you might be thinking about what you get somebody but this is something really nice at Botccia any woman would love
They're handmade from Sterling silver, rose gold plated, dainty little stud earrings with post and butterfly fixings


In 9 carat yellow gold with crystals set in them the rabbit design is just adorable and has a stud type fastening.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Party time!

Well it's that time of year when my colleagues assist me at our Christmas Office Dinner which was held in Weaverham, Cheshire.
Typically on the day I'd normally be off we had an emergency client who needed to be seen with us being shut in the afternoon couldn't be left. Muggings here got the short straw!
Fortunately the roads had been well gritted - there's no excuse as our town produces the rocksalt - so notwithstanding the freezing icy weather it was safe to venture out.
I had the Fan of Melon with berries although you could have paté or soup of the day as a starter.
As main courses go there was a vegetarian option although I opted for the carvery with a choice of potatoes, peas, carrots and a large batter thing they call in England 'Yorkshire Pudding'.
I had the Turkey which was well cooked but moist with cranberry sauce.
For the desert I opted for Ice cream which came with a fruit salad
This was finished off with coffee or tea with after eight mints.
Afterwards we had a general knowledge quiz that our table lost on although I provided a high proportion of the right answers and various certificates for courses were handed out.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Let it snow, let it snow!

Yay! It's been snowing for two whole days over here and so far we've had just over an inch and a half - that's about 4 centimetres in new money - land in on our Estate.
The high school kids had today off as apparently their school bus couldn't leave its' depot to collect them and take them to the premises even though the local Primary school was open for business.
Sometimes you think this whole big thing as in big high schools, one big store and that isn't such a great idea when it comes to keeping a community on the move.
My mailman got through here okay and delivered the second instalment of Hip-O Selects Smokey Robinsons remasters series tackling the groundbreaking Quiet Storm and Smokey's Family Robinson albums with sleeve notes by Peter Doggett, Motown authority and writer to Record Collector magazine in England.
I have gotten the download from 7Digital of Progress the Take That reunion album reuniting Robbie Williams with the band, whose fortunes I followed since 1992 and the Take That and Party album which should keep me entertained.
As I wasn't moving today I watched the whole of Part three of the anime Soul Eater which I enjoyed although fight animes don't usually do it for me, cos the characters in this Studio Bones production have a lot of depth. Also I have ordered Vampire Knight 3 from Supermart which all being well will be with me in a couple of weeks time.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Social Networking Sites

Today's a funny kind of a day a day cos I woke up with a bit of an idea for this blog entry which I can assure you doesn't happen every day of the week.
Social Networking sites.
I think most of you know a bit about them and maybe you have accounts too but what do you think about them as places? Do you feel they offer you anything different than otherwise is available?
I ask because I have been asked several times by no doubt well meaning people if I belonged to certain sites or if I'd join them with those individuals as part of some group or other.

Now my experiences of sites my well be different than yours but I got burnt out by some forums by the internal politicking and also by the way some of those people carried over their squabbles from a Forum to these Social Networks even to the point of stalking them.
Call me naive perhaps but I thought the idea of a social network site was to have fun with your friends, share interests and maybe play a game together rather than returning to the school playground with the bullies.

I briefly joined one site together with my best online buddy and it was at the time quite an interesting place in that people wrote about their experiences, loves and likes in the idea that by doing this people could use this to help guide them though their own decisions. At the time a lot of deep friendships were made but then we noticed several disturbing developments.
One of the first was there seemed to be a ever increasing number of people joining up with strong sexual interests who wouldn't stop hitting on you with lewd suggestions and posting avatars with sexually graphic images.
We also noticed some seemed to wanted to base their own lives entirely around your thoughts and life which was in someways ways worse than have a copycat sister or brother even calling you a 'Guru'.
These were followed in short order by those of extreme political and religious points of view starting scraps and beating the c*** out of each other.
Then they decided to go 'mainstream' advertising in the mass media which brought in more 'odd balls'.
Most worrying was the toleration of overt paedophile groups that supported sex with children writing pieces supporting the same. As a person who worked in child protection for a period it made me sick to stomach seeing that stuff and no amount of reporting to the moderators ever really got rid of it. And for good measure at the same time they allowed children to sign up! Ouch!!!
This site was hosted and registered in the States which has very strict guidelines about sites that allow minors. Needless to say we left.

My Buddy tried Facebook but got fed up with people who couldn't handle status reports with more depth than "Bought a new handbag and going partying tonite . Whoo-woo" and unwanted male attention. Around this time she asked me to join I said what's it all about there and it was obvious she wasn't getting much from the social aspect with all it's shallowness from hundreds of so called friends. She kept the account their for the games but that wasn't much use for me cos because of my disability I can't use joysticks or mice for long which you need for gaming. Not being able to game hacks me off big time so don't even start me!
Also I was aware some folk from one Forum were regularly patrolling the place looking for folk to pick a fight with or gain friend status and then publish personal details elsewhere in their attempts to carry on Forum squabbles and unfortunately they had several issues with me even if I had none with them personally.
My Space was very similar.

We did join Tinier Me a gaming site primarily as it least it knew what it's focus was and anyway my Buddy loved dressing my character up as a Maid!
I recently joined Last FM because like Tinier Me it knows what it is - it's a music sharing site - where you share play lists, access virtual radio stations, can send friends tracks to listen to and generally widen you music tastes.
There's no silly scraps continuing on from elsewhere or unwanted attention so I enjoy getting a buzz sharing something I'm passionate about.

It might be me I don't know but when you belong to forums around specific interests like say Anime that offer PM and email links, follow the blogs of friends, can have accounts at games sites what am I missing?
You comments as ever are appreciated.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Linzi























It's been a rough ol' two weeks for me emotionally as no doubt several of you will have gathered and I'm slowly trying to get back to normal.
I don't make any apologies for posting something that takes me back to my childhood cos with events my mind has been thinking about the past, the people in them and what they meant to me.
Linzi pictured from a crummy old photo I took has been a part of my life for decades a gift from a dear friend that I treasure. I treasure both Linzi as a doll, one of several I still own, and love as much as the memory of the person who brought her into my life.
Linzi is very girlish in her lace, ribbons and nicely finished hems in a relatively unfussy way that also is a part of my own self image (it may not be the most practicable in sub zero temperatures though!) and helped me though some difficult times with childhood scrapes.
Do any of you have similar objects in your lives that hold a lot of emotions?

Friday, 19 November 2010

My Love and other random things

Slowly getting back into the swing of things here post Funeral.
I got a couple more Wings cd's that I had been looking for a while namely Wings Wild Life and Red Rose Speedway (the latter being the home of 'My Love' one of Sir Paul's most romantic tunes from candybay (tm) in their original 1987 issues.
I did get from Paul McCartney.com the Mp3 download of Band on the Run 2010 re-master as it was the cheapest place for it plus it had a PDF format booklet and this new issue does sound superb. As much as like my original 1985 Japanese pressed disc and own the 10 Track US version done by the specialist re-issue label DCC in 1993 that commands very high prices, the new one bests that.
The DCC was very good but over-eggs the bass on a few tracks.

Last FM: I has an account should the skeletons and the angelic ones wish to 'friend' me. It's a nice way of sharing your tastes in music and also allows you to hears stuff you don't own for free so helping to expand your knowledge and appreciation of music.

Coming any day soon should be the manga Otomen 8 that was scheduled for publication a month later. Continuing on from part 7 Ryo's grandfather became ill so she decide to move to Fukuoka to care for him. This means she needs to move schools which leaves us with the question" Does Asuka have to say farewell to this relationship just whens he's realized he needs to be more like a boyfriend to her"? Keep reading to hear more.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Remembrance Day Edition











November 11th sees Remembrance Day where people in Canada, The UK and many other parts of the Commonwealth mark the end of First World War and many pay their respects for all who have died or been injuries in the service of their Country. In the United States this day is also celebrated as part of Veteran's Day.
Many of us wear our lapel poppies be they plastic as in Canada or paper based as in the UK and the States as an outward symbol of our respect for the fallen.

Lieutenant Commander John McCrea of the Canadian Army who this famous poem whilst in Flanders during the second battle of Ypres.

In Flanders Fields

by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I like many others will be taking time out to reflect upon the human suffering War in all it's forms brings and to show my respects to those who help defend our Country.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Cat in the Hat Monday!























Yay! Ma' man the Cat in the Hat himself, Jay Kay has finally released the much anticipated new studio album after a five year hiatus.
Processing the most Stevie Wonder like voice that doesn't belong to that particular genius I've been a fan since 1993 and the Emergency On Planet Earth album.
Having amassed a fleet of supercars to turn Jeremy Clarkson green, it seems Jay Kay’s not short of a bob or two. Still, seventeen years since the acid-jazz of their debut, Jamiroquai are back to deliver a gleaming lesson in shimmering, chart-friendly funk and to prove it’s all about the music, not the money, man. And yet, from the 70s disco-plundering whirl of ‘She’s a Fast Persuader’ to the infectious groove of ‘Smoke and Mirrors’, Rock Dust Light Star is brimming with hits in the waiting. Party on, dudes!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Halloween

Hello Kitty Halloween

Just one more day to both Halloween AND Hello Kitty's birthday so enjoy yourselves and remember as Kitty would say "Make cupcakes not war".
I've got my sweets ready for the little 'uns this year.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

The "Unwell" edition tm

















During this period when I've been off work with rotten cold and sore throat, I watched the Vampire Knight (series 1) set 2 which has episodes 5 through 8 which is currently out in the States.

This week saw the issue on Monday of many Apple albums by artists outside The Beatles several of which have been out of print since the 1990's.
I bought the downloads of Badfinger's Magic Christian Music, No Dice and Straight Up a group from Swansea, Wales that sounded very much like the later Beatles when they performed Paul McCartney's songs.
On a technical level the downloads I bought from 7digital - a UK based digital music store - were of a very high technical quality aided their use of a bit rate of 320 kilo bits per second (Kbps) and the use of the LAME 3.98r2 Mp3 encoder producing results comparable to that of a type II (chromedioxide) home made tape copy which is more than good enough.
Also a friend sent me copies of their later albums for Warner Bros.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

More Kitty Madness!























The above is my new HK flight bag that happens to be ideal for butting my purse and sandwiches in for work.



And this is the new Tote bag ideal for putting magazines and that in while I'm in town.


Thursday, 21 October 2010

My Back Pages
















Another year another box set comes out screaming 'must buy' I guess but thankfully this one wasn't as expensive as last years Beatles in Mono box!
Bob Dylans first eight groundbreaking albums re-released in the original mono mixes long unavailable outside of very expensive speciality releases on vinyl housed in box with slide in carrier.
The albums made in the EU - wherever that is - come in the mini lp form which I just adore as you have the same sort of tactile feel handling them as the lp issues I and a few others had back in the day.
In my case I still had tapes or lps in various conditions of some not getting around to buying more than a couple on cd in over 25 odd years so I was looking for a nice complete set.
Why mono? Simply the stereo separation is very distracting when listening to these performances and the vocals come over more clearly which as the cornerstone of Bob Dylan's appeal lies in his words. Stereo isn't needed for this stuff.
The mastering is very good even the most ardent critics acknowledge outside of the original mono lps that can hard to find at affordable prices without being beat up, these are the best yet and for around GBP 7.99 per disc in the set very good value for money.
If that was cool enough mine had a bonus cd of the Brandeis University, M.A. folk concert from 1963 included plus a free complete Mp3 download offer of all these albums to save me ripping them to play on the portable music player!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Wrapping up time!
















































It's started to get colder now and as I like to go out a good deal walking, a form of exercise that not only keeps my weight under control but also keeps me mentally alert thoughts drifted toward new extremity covering garments for the season.
This caught my fancy at Monsoon. Made by Accessorize, it's a thick woollen hat and glove set entitled "Bright Heart & Check chunky Chullo" with the hat being £18 and the matching gloves for £12.

More Narutu



















I'm presently near the end of watching this, the latest instalment of Narutu Shippuden as released over here where Gaara is restored to life and Narutu not for the first time has a major trust issue with a new team member.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Soul re-issue update

Dee Dee Sharp: Happy 'Bout The Whole Thing/What Colour Is Love/Dee Dee
Edsel 3 on 2 beermat set of the P.I.R. albums. Nice re-mastering job on this issue if Dee Dee of "I'm not in love" fame appeals.

Raydio S/T c/w Rock On
2010 Edsel beermat.
Lovely sounding and if you like the material well early Ray Parker Jr.it's recommended at half the price and the masterings darn good to boot.

Ojays Family Reunion 2010 Edsel beermat
I shouldn't have to say how what the heck how brilliant this album really is to any of you BUT this recent re-master is so good we could add the word 'Audiophile' in the same sentence as is that good PLUS it has the 1977 9.42 I Love Music as remixed by Tom Moulton as the bonus track. Possibly bargain of the year.
Catalogue no. Edsel EDSM0001

Smokey Robinson Smokey c/w Pure Smokey (aka Smokey Robinson Solo albums vol:1)
Hip-o select 2010 beermat
Decent mastering and these two albums are self recommending with Just My Soul Responding's thoughtful mediation and I Am, I Am the precursor to Quiet Storm.

Quiet Storm & Smokey's Family Robinson (aka Smokey Robinson Solo Vol:2)
Defined the whole 'Quiet Storm' soul genre.

Jones Girls S/T c/w At Peace with Woman Edsel 2005
Reissue of the first two albums for Philadelphia International originally issued in 1979 and 80 respectively.

Patti LaBelle: The Spirit In It, I'm In Love Again & Patti Edsel 3 on 2 beermat 2004
The issued studio recordings of her brief time at Philadelphia International, The first album in this collection is rootsy Gospel infused soul from '81 that got lost in those 'Good Times' on the R&B chart where it seemed everything was funkified disco, the second was cash in after her leaving for MCA in '83 but did include such gems as If Only You Knew and remains a strong set and don't even start me on the third when 'da kids' from Sugarhill tried adding electro beats to straight 'in the can' soul to compete against her MCA stuff out like New Attitude. We all saw Beverly Hills Cop back then, right?
Trouble is that sound is just so dated and when it goes into a breakbeat it's positively cringe-worthy atop of what were fine vocal performances. Thankfully Where I Wanna Be and all four tracks from what was side two escape most of this *%^& an can be appreciated as a bonus to the two 'real' albums.
The masterings extremely good btw.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Rollermania


















Once upon a time there was a group of five Scottish musicians who were the biggest UK act of their era and to whom induced a hysterical phenomenon in their mainly female fans not seen since the heady days of The Beatles (a beat combo of the 1960's from Liverpool).
You would deck yourself from head to foot with Tartan attire often hand sown with scarves wrapped tightly around your wrists, you'd scream and hug your television on each and every time they were on.
If you were lucky you'd go roller-spotting hoping to catch a glance of any band member, whilst out and try desperately to get hold of one.
You bought each and every record they issued the minute it was, buying the magazines featuring them, the annuals and as much of the merchandise they issued. Back in 1975 much of the slick multimedia promotion of today simply didn't exist nor did the technology such as cellphones so we didn't have ringtones and screens to download.
They were your all embracing passion and for most of us romantic interest rolled in one. I was obsessed with Stuart 'Woody' Wood!

But by the late 1970's a few line up changes along the way their star had dimmed and it was like Abba a few years later, fashionable to deny any liking for them suggesting compared to the 'grown up' rock acts it was light weight pap.
This was to forget a couple of things namely that the band could play their own instruments and in Eric's case very well, that many established acts used session musicians and in any event those of us between 7 and 14 at the time simply could not get into ten minute songs or two record concept albums of the kind artists such as Yes made.
It had to be short, catchy with a easy to understand lyric connected in some way to concepts we understood like romance, love, dancing or being friends. The appeal of a song such as Summerlove Sensation was that of nostalgia for the seaside holiday and the new friends you made and hoped to see again next year and needless to say it was tailor-made for us.

All that stuff kind of explains why over 30 years on many of us remain smitten by the band - OUR band - and Salvo Records decided for the first time ever to issue a four cd box set devoted to the original incarnations of the band and for that matter between Sony Music and 7T's Records their studio albums we cherished back then are available in the cd era.
They called it Rollermania-The Anthology!

For a long period the singles issued from 1972 to the issuing of Remember in early 1974 had been hard to find on record as sales were low and not available on cd and one of the great things about this set is they have issued them for the first time.
Equally they have issued 'Are You Cuckoo?' a song that was a b side of a 45 in the UK but a track in the US version of the Dedication album of 1976 for the first time on cd.
This set has in chronological order all their UK singles and b sides plus stand out album tracks from 1971 to 1981's Ricochet album that had songs featured on the 'Burning Rubber ' movie the band was featured in.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Fall update 2010

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since I started this blog in March 2006 and I mentioned how certain events in my life had impacted on me even talking at one site tentatively about part of my coping mechanism, finding and using the inner child me.


Part of this age regression is a coping mechanism being literally the child-like with vulnerabilities me working within what I can actually cope with rather than pushing so hard at appearing to act more grown up and sophisticated I am left to cope with what I can't with no support and guidance and part is coping with how the nervous breakdown affected me.  
I am wearing more child-like attire privately such as this jersey tunic as it helps to lift me more into that headspace and less likely to be 'read' as a fully grown up girl.
I am looking more at finding people who are more like me to explore it more so I get more from my life on terms that are truly appropriate for me although I will remain at the sites I have belonged for the last few years even if it feels I have to put a bag over my face when it comes to just being open about myself and  my own life beyond.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Leggings





















Well they seem to be all over the catwalk this season teamed with either short skirts, minidresses or tunic tops and even seem to mutated in Jeggings a legging that is more like a Jean but with the pull nature of leggings.With terms like that no wonder a fashion store launched a dictionary fashion terms.
The above Leggings are from Cotton Traders and look nice with button detail at the bottom leg.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The Second Time Around

And it is in more ways than one!

The soul music group Shalamar formed in 1976 from three dancers who appeared on the US black music show Soul Train were a passion of mine in the late 70's, early 80's being one of the acts that were the link between the seventies Soul (think Ojays' and solo Smokey Robinson) and the Funk that became prevailed as the main genre of black music in the 80's.
Sufficient I feel to say I bought the 45's usually as imports cos they were cheaper and many of their albums that were very satisfying in themselves having ballads as well as uptempo stompers you can dance to.

Of the albums of these that held and still hold great interest for me they are Big Fun issued fall 1979, Three For Love issued January 1981, Friends Early summer '82 and The Look issued May of 1983 and the last album by the classic original line of Jody Watley, Howard Hewitt and Jeffrey Daniels.
Jeffery pioneered the 'Moonwalk' first shown on BBC UK tv's Top Of The Pops in 1982 and was begged by Michael Jackson no less for the secret of them moves!

The records remain in my collection but like many acts it took a while before anything outside of a compilation got issued in the cd era.
That takes us back to the title of this post because in so far as the UK was concerned for a brief point Friends and The Look were issued around 1983/4 when the label was being handled by Warner (WEA) as straight cd issues - no bonus tracks - but had been out of print for a long while. These issues commend a very high price on the collectors market.

In 1996 Sequel Records part of the big re-issue group Castle Copyrights issued all four of these albums on cd, with Big Fun and Three For Love being issued for the very first time with bonus tracks.

It wasn't long however before this set of re-issues themselves were deleted and following the formation of Sanctuary Records from Castle Copyrights and the issuing of new compilations including the nice various artists Soul Classic Soul and Solar Classic Disco two cd sets in late 1999, attention again was placed on revitalizing the Shalamar catalogue.

In 2002 the entire Shalamar album catalogue was re-issued from 1977's Uptown Festival to 1990's Wake Up with new liner notes featuring interviews with Jeffery and Howard and lots of chart related facts.
It was and is a great idea but this set of issues have some flaws for the serious fan.
The first thing is like many contemporary albums an attempt was made to make everything sound loud so the quiet ballad You Can Count On Me has the same average level as a track like Dead Giveaway on the 2002 The Look cd which it never did on vinyl.
They also seem to attempted to remove any hiss and pops from the original tapes - I'm not sure these tapes are the actual 'master tapes' so much as copies of - and this has left the high notes sounding brittle and liking any sense of space around instruments or vocals.
You can hear a filter on the high notes on the intro of You Can Count On Me being lifted electronically on the louder passages which is distracting.
On the 2 albums on one cd issue of Big Fun and Three for Love I was taken aback to see they had shortened several tracks for 12 seconds or sometimes longer compared with the 1996 cd and original vinyl albums and used much shorter edits of Right In The Socket and Full Of Fire with the first song losing over two minutes!
To give you an idea how this impacts on it if you took the two albums minus any bonus tracks, the 1996 issues would run for 80:56 minutes and the 2002 a mere 74:50
Nowhere in the notes of the 2002 cd does it mention this just proudly informing you of the bonus of The Second Time Around (edit) which was the 45 version (the lp version runs for 7:06)
which how they got it all onto one cd!!! In so far as the frist two albums fo there are more bonus tracks - the edited singles versions - on the 1996 versions too.

Now my original 1996 Three For Love cd got lost in a move several years back and so I ordered up a complete set of the four 1996 cds used and was taken aback by the differences.
Now for The Second Time Around, I'm reunited with the cds that sound really like the vinyl albums I love.
Deja vu!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Vampire Knight DVD

















At long last my Region 1 Series 1 dvd arrived from supamart in the usual mediamail bags they use.
Compared with my duff racing certainty bootleg copy this is much much sharper from the first few minutes of the titles you can see the difference. I wrote a review of the series around the end of 2009 if I recall right and anyway the current edition (#76) of NEO magazine in England has a feature on it. The dubbing is pretty good - I know some moan about dubbing - but this is okay actually and less demanding than trying to read it all on screen. Inside the dvd is a sample manga from the first chapter of the Manga of Vampire Knight as published by Shoujo Beat in the States as a teaser for their Manga products.
In other news I'm quoted in the NEO forum poll comments printed in the magazine on where we buy anime from.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Ladybird
























I really like this Death Kitty Ladybird dress which is very floaty.






















Cameo at Debenhams.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

A Cellarful of Motown

On August 30th 2010 the forth instalment of UK Motown's 2 cd set series "A Cellar of Motown" was issued.
This series is notable for the issuing of recordings by artist deemed at Motowns' infamous listening panel as not being good enough to be issued with an instant hit written all over them or versions not issued at the time.
Some of these have surfaced in the past as noisy 'test pressings' played from vinyl but the series uses the original tapes left in the vaults and so sounds that much better.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Well that was August 2010

Well this post was originally intend to be a review of Vampire Knight Season 1 Part one but Otaku failed to come up with my pre-ordered dvd so I've place a fresh with with Super_mart and will have to wait for it to arrive from the States.If you haven't all noticed I've made it easier for you to navigate this blog as there is now a 'label' index. Am I kind to you or what? :lol:
Finally and after one false start I have completed my set of Rock and Roll Greats cds and have made a start on a series of discs issued between 1988 and 1990 called the Hits of [insert year] on EMI's Music For Pleasure label that comprise of hits from the EMI-Capitol, United Artist and Liberty stables in any one year and many of theses old discs do sound really good and are the next best thing to having a set of the original 45's if you like a lot of the music from the 50's & 60's and include a number of tracks often missed of compilations.
















In addition I ordered from Jonifan in the states the new sacd speciality re-master of the first Foreigner album issued by Mofi.

It's been a funny kind of a month, Luna became a friend at NEO as we seem to have quite a bit in common plus updated the Funimation S.A.V.E. releases list, I eventually got around to replacing the dvd drive on this computer cos it died a few weeks back and I was rendered speechless to find out about the 'secret life' a person I knew who was done for publishing and possession of indecent images of children something I feel very strongly over having worked on child abuse cases.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

London American label

In 2009 Ace Records a leading UK based speciality cd re-issue label commenced its new project the London American year by year series.

The London American label was an imprint of UK Decca Records that licensed recordings from the very many independent companies in the States and promoted them for the UK market at a time when very few US companies had UK operations of their own and the global multi-market companies we have today just didn't exist.

London American had many deals with companies such s United Artists, Liberty, Big Top, Chess and Cadence that were the home to many of the stars of the late 1950's and early 60's such as the Everly Bros, Bobby Vee, Del Shannon, Chuck Berry and Johnny and the Hurricanes who were really popular some more popular than back home in the States.

So a series like this is really valuable for giving you a taste of what the music of this era the one before the Beatles was really like and what is more they have deliberately gone for the previously unissued on cd tracks.

As a really good move they have also gotten access to the UK Decca tape vaults where the tapes used to manufacture the original 45's were stored and used them so we have the original monaural sound those who bought and collected the 45's expect which has been expertly re-mastered.

To date three titles have been issued 1960, 1961 and 1962 which came out last week landing in my mailbox on Monday.







































Hear we go again rewinding to the past with this the latest instalment of ACE's London American year By Year series.

28 tracks some hits some misses that haven't been re-issued on cd from 1958 from the original UK masters.

Artists featured are Duane Eddy, The Mills Bros, Jerry Lee Lewis, Pat Boone, Chuck Berry, The Drifters and Eddie Cochrane with his Summertime Blues.

What's great about the series is there's very little duplication with other ACE London American compilations

Saturday, 14 August 2010

EGL Edition

A couple of Elegant Gothic Lolita items I quite like:
From Candy Fruit, this traditional Maids Outfit.

























Metamorphose: This is available in a number of different colours, this one being the Rose Pink Gardening Teddy Dress.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

cd updates

Finally I got two albums by the theatrical art-rock group The Tubes on cd, mainly The Completion Backward Principal and Outside/Inside from 1981 & 1983 respectively that were re-issued by BGO Records over here many years ago (1991 I think).
They feature the hits 'Talk To You Later' and 'She's A Beauty' which was a top 10 hit in the States which I remember buying the domestic 45 of.
Coming soon and not before time is a set of discs in the 1992 Rock and Roll Hits series from UK EMI's Music For Pleasure label featuring various classic jukeboxes on the front covers.
They compile may hits of the 'Rock and Roll era' from 1955 through 1963 from the Capitol/EMI, MCA and United Artists/Liberty stable taking in Buddy Holly, Gene Vincent, Bobby Vee, Eddie Cochrane and the Crickets amongst many.
I bought two back then but they soon went out of print and want to complete the set.

Monday, 26 July 2010

A word from S

Excuse me peoples but that Moomin has a cheek wanting to be an Internet star as if it was not for my labour she'd not of been born. No wonder I belt 'er one! Darn kids today, eh?
Regards Suzie

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Funimation SAVE releases















Driving me pretty much to the poor house are Funimation's budget 'SAVE' line in anime dvd's which came out a few months ago.
In essence they are reprints of older titles often keeping the packaging from the previous edition all at a cheap price generally under USD $30 even for a complete series which may have up to 26 episodes.
The one above "The Galaxy railways" is an adventure series set in as the would suggest on the Galaxy Railways with a team of crack railway security people, the SDF, and is really good.
Surprisingly this title has never been issued in the UK.


















This one - Aquarion - has and was last out in the UK late in 2009 but the US Funimation box set is cheaper and a good deal neater. As I was a bit short of funds at the time I missed out on getting it but as a Mecha series goes this is great and it is really well drawn.

Friday, 16 July 2010

New skirt

It's been just over four years and three months since I started this blog talking about a load of things such as myself, my interests such as music and likes in a way I had not anticipated nor perhaps you might of been expecting

Going forward, this new skirt is increasingly more where I'm headed at least in so far as more formalish presentations go with a nod toward office or even more college/school style as I like easy to look after on or just above the knee skirts with tights, not being given to baring huge amounts of skin.
Generally I prefer flat shoes as I can't easily walk and so need all the stability and grip I can get.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Lucky Star and Air

Well this is a provision entry title as I'm feeling a little tired this afternoon and I had an entry to prep up although as I say it'll take it's final form in a couple of days time so be sure to return!
I've been watching between work, reading blogs, websites and listening to more music the following two animes:-


















I'll be finished watching this one by Saturday.
Issued by Bandai in the States in their budget Anime Legends series, it hasn't seen a R2 issue although Beez have expressed a bit of interest in putting it out.
It's in part a examination of high school recollections that must of us can easily identify with coupled with a great parody of the whole otaku take on life, that never ending dash to be be first with the new manga, collecting points at the store, cosplay, obsessing over RPG's that you play overnight when you're meant to be sleeping.
Much of that is shown through Konata the anime and video game obsessed character who is older than the other three schoolgirls who can put so much into that devising grand plans to get around the comiccons and yet completely mess up with exam revision and homework. On the other hand Kagami is the shy, more seriously mined who has a younger sister Tsukasa who is very much the sweet but ultimately air headed one. For moe appeal it's Miyuki, the cute bespectacled friend with an almost encyclopedic memory for the key facts of all subjects
Heck every episode ends with the Lucky Channel segments of hyper presenters and the shows characters doing karaoke style singing to songs from tv shows and animes, all of which served with loads of side-splitting humour and uber-cuteness.
I mean they even reference Haruhi for crying out loud!!!

















Now this is the opposite and strongly recommended for Kanon and Clannad fans and is issued in Funimations S.A.V.E budget series.The story arcs revolve around Yukito Kunisaki and three girls all of whom are connected.
Air is the sad tale of Misuzu a child who is ill, desperately lonely and abandoned by her real Mom, She takes a shine to Yukito,a travelling children's entertainer with only the clothes on his back as possessions who lifts her spirits and we witness her aunt Haruko who in the end quite movingly makes that step from being an Aunt to being her Mom just as sadly she has only a couple of days left to live.
The day after being taken in by Misuzu and Haruko, Yukito meets a girl named Kano Kirishima and a stray dog named Potato; Kano and Misuzu go to the same high school. Later that day, Yukito meets a third girl named Minagi Tohno, Misuzu's classmate, and her friend Michiru.
Kano and Minagi like Misuzu, both have strange personalities connected with mysterious pasts. Before long, a legend of "one thousand summers" begins to unfold where the mysteries of the past are framed primarily by the relationship between Yukito and Misuzu.
Misuzu's offer of food and shelter to the destitute and close to starving Yukito causes the lifes of both to change as they grow ever closer sharing dreams of a life lived beyond the clouds. It is obviously that what drives Yukito chasing the story of "The Girl in the Sky". Not knowing when or if he will find her he clings on for hope. His need to find her is so strong and the answers floating in the breeze unfold as the story progresses.
The story arc comes in three parts; Dream (episodes one through seven), Summer (episodes eight and nine), and Air (episodes ten through twelve), with the recap episode (episode thirteen) following. As ADV didn't licence the recap episode for North America originally this dvd misses it off but it's no great loss.

We see hope in the face of adversity, trust even when badly let down and preparedness to do your very best even if it may not be enough.
The dvd adds the Air in summer OVA's issued separately in Japan on disc three.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Classical music update

Recently I've gotten some more classical music cds that I've been slowly working my way through and I hope to complete this entry about them in a few days time.

First off, I kind of got off on a lopsided approach to Beethoven, missing out on his Violin and Piano Sonatas completely plowing through the Symphonies and then the Piano Concertos before meeting the Violin Concerto Op.61.
Well, I got the discs in the old DG Galleria series of Wilhelm Kempff's masterful Piano Sonatas cycle from the mid 1960's that as recordings weren't unfamiliar to me as I'd borrowed tapes from the public library of them before. I think there was a big box with all thirty two of them but I kinda thought it would be overkill.
I eventually got the cd in the same series yesterday of Menuhin and Kempff's account of the Sonatas for Piano and Violin numbers Five and Nine from 1970 that remains one of the finest ever recorded. I also picked up used the Violinist Anne Sophie-Mutter's recording with Herbert von Karajan of the Triple Concerto from 1980 which was a full price disc issued 1985 with three overtures tacked on to fill up the disc.

Dvorák: Well I always had a soft spot from his work but outside of the odd Piano Sonata plus recordings of his Cello and Violin Concertos, hadn't gone beyond his famous Ninth symphony (the New World).
I bought a re-issue of a 1991 cd set packaged in a cardboard box and card sleeves of Rafael Kubelik's complete cycle of nine symphonies recorded 1968 thru'1973 for DG, something I'd always dreamt of getting as a kid which were amongst the strongest interpretations ever and anyway I've always loved theses performances having the Ninth on lp.

Finally to Brahms. Poor thing I kinda neglected him beyond the cat gut works and a recording of his Second and Third symphonies I inexplicably picked up in the early 1990's. I've finally added his First and Fourth symphonies as performed by Herbert von Karajan (1978 and 1988 respectively).

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Motivation























Sometimes people wonder just what drives me on and why it is sometimes I can appear to be out of sync with other peoples takes on it.

You know what really matters don't you?

Love.

Well, most of would agree they can feel it and share it but just how far does it go?

For some people it's kinda like 'I will offer you my love but don't let it come between what I really want right now' as if the one prevents the other.

Now sure you might not want to do any anything rash like give away all your life savings to someone who you don't know much about bar a lack of money but what enables you to progress yourself?

That's right, Love. Someone else's love for you, the word put in your favour, some help dealing with problems you may be experiencing or the offer of immediate physical comfort such as a reassuring hug and so on.

For me and maybe a few others it goes further in that we'd exchange a bit of our own comfort to help another even if we could use that ourselves such as the winter day I went a bit cold so my scarf could be used to minimize stomach cramps a friend going through her monthly cycle was experiencing. I could not let her suffer if there was something practical I could do in that situation. Could you?

If you're a Mom, you'd reassure your child if they were in pain or sick even putting off other things you had planned because your child's wellbeing is that important. Naturally and in your own way you would hope your child, as they grew up would begin to understand the sacrifices you made for them arising from that love and they themselves would continue that much needed cycle.

A cycle humanity needs and the only motivator I have.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Soccer's World Cup 2010


Well the World Cup is over for England as this girl clearly shows blowing the final note!

Soul Eater


A recent arrival here, I have just finished watching all 13 episodes on this two dvd anime set.
Produced by studio Bones who've given us Fullmetal Alchemist and Cowboy Be-Bop this is an innovative series that keeps you glued to the seat of your pants.










Adapted from Atsushi Okubo's Soul Eater manga, the series is set in Death City where the Death Weapons Meisters Academy (DWMA) an institution where spiritually charged students change into weapons or have the ability to wield them.
The lessons are a bit unusual in that students have to hunt down Kishin (demons that consume the souls of innocent living in order to increase their own powers) however if a student wear to defeat 99 kishin and eat their souls AND then eat the soul of an evil Witch for their 100th meal, they evolve into a Death Scythe an extremely powerful form used by Lord Death himself.
The main characters Maka and Soul are an odd couple but they kind of get along which just as well for a Meister and her weapon!
I enjoyed watching the this part of the series as we were slowly introduced to all the characters and their personalities.
Manga issued it over here as a two dvd set in a single regular case which apart from taking up less space than stand alone discs is actually cheaper (Amazon, HMV and Play were doing it for 14.99 shipped) and should encourage folk to keep with properly licensed discs.
I'd give this set 8/10.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Engine trouble.


Having trouble with the running of your car engine, eh? Then this is what we need to lubricate it!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Black Explosion!










Finally this month I got around to remaking this mainly soul based Ronco compilation from my youth using digital sources. It originally run for 62 minutes which with 24 tracks on it meant apart from sounding somewhat thin each track had to be edited down quite drastically to get it all to fit!

My new version isn't as I just matched the average levels between each song up nicely and comes to about 79 minutes in total.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Hello








Hello there.
May I introduce myself? My name is Moomin and I just love Tuna, Chicken and beg sausages off my owner who writes this 'ere blog.
I thinks they are terrible making me wait to the end of some Japanese cartoon thingy until I get my dinner and feel the cat gut music is too painful on my sensitive ears.
Regards M.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Only Time Will Tell....













In May Audio Fidelity issued this speciality re-issue gold cd of the first album by Asia, the first supergroup of the 1980's with members from 'pomp rock' Yes, pop sensation Buggles and a few others.
Let's say they were 'the band' of 1982 scoring big hits with the singles 'Only Time Will Tell' and famously 'Heat of the Moment' and this album was a massive seller too.
No AOR collection is complete without it!

Unfortunately Mike Stone who engineered this album went for a really loud sound with reverb which can make it fatiguing to listen to as apparently was trying to create a sound that would capture the attention of folk listening on the radio. The original lp was just about acceptable but it's never really had a good cd version.
This issue puts that right bringing much needed bass and smoothing out the midrange so it doesn't grate as well as for once allowing the vocals to breathe a little,
Having compared this to several cd's and vinyl I'd have to say this is the best I've ever heard this album sound and only hope they can tackle the second album, 1983's Alpha which badly needs a decent cd.
Recommended.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Naruto Shippuden


At long last the R2 UK edition of this second part of the Narutu story has come out today.








We kick off with this volume covering the story of Kazekage's Rescue which takes place over 32 episodes.
In the two and a half years since Narutu Uzumaki left the Hidden Leaf Village to train up as a ninja under Jiraiya, much has changed. The boy is stronger, taller and a bit smarter even if his irrepressible nature still leaves him to put his foot in it when Sakura is around.
The good thing about this new Naruto series is the storytelling is much slower which is aided by putting much more fine detail into the story enabling you to get more out the story emotionally and the stories have more depth to them, the absence of which previously was something that to be quite candid put me off collecting it as much as I can understand the basic plot.
The initiated know shoujo is more my thing and the other great thing about Shippenden is Sakura who was previously on the periphery of the story playing a stereotypical role as a medical trainee takes a more central role showing her powerful warrior like abilities being able to split the ground with a single punch and co-operating with Naruto.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Tsubasa Chronicles Series 2


One result of UK distributor Revelation losing the Funimation licences has been this, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles series 2 missing a UK release.
I imported the US R1 Funimation release and have almost finished watching all 26 episodes (by tonight I'd of seen the lot!).


I won't spoil the story for those who haven't seen it but it continues the struggle from series 1 to get all of Sakura's memory feathers back and tests the loyalty of all four travellers and young Syaoran's love for Princess Sakura to the limit.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Summer 2010


Before the rain squashed them, this was one of several Wild Poppies that grow in my Garden every summer that I thought I'd share a picture of with you all.