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 featuring Otomen 7


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.


Well, in the last few days the latest instalment of the adventures of Ryo and Askura has arrived and I should be getting around to reading it later on today.
Askura was left filling in for the lead vocalist of a Visual Kei rock band having arrived to accompany Ryo to the show. I wonder if Askura will ever get around to formally proposing to her.
I've been following this manga since it first came out and it's funny while at the same time as being thought provoking.

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.

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.