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  • Growing Pains

    We are currenlty putting strain on local servers with the amount of download bandwidth users are eating up. Some users have reported error messages when attempting to download. To get around this we are

    migrating music files to 'Soundcloud', which we will give us unlimited capacity. The transition will be ready in about the first week of May - along with a load of new material and a slightly rejigged look. Standby, and

    apologies to anyone who has experienced difficulties downloading.

    Geoff

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  • There's always someone.....

    If pushed to name my least favourite Beatles-related track, I'd have to plump for George Harrision's lurching, over-orchestrated 1973 track, 'Try Some, Buy Some'.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBF2GHyrnw8

    But looking at the comments on youtube, there are a few folks who love the track. The age in which opinions are no longer edited by a third party has it's downsides, but it demonstrates that people exhibit more individual differences that we knew about before the the internet.

    Reviewers of music have previously tended to define what we think of it. The album from which 'Try Some, Buy Some' comes, 'Living in the Material World', was critically panned - and, I suspect, public opinion tended to fall into line.

    But not any more. Whatever you're into, there's bound to be a soul somewhere who has precisely the same tastes.

    The same goes for loves as it does for dislikes.

    Lou Reed, who sadly died in 2013, was the master of the unhinged guitar-break. The very end of a particularly free-form rendition of the Velvet Underground features an example of Reed's nerve-shredding plexiglass guitar grunge. It is my favourite 20 seconds of music ever.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p24sNYTVsp8

    But I can quite understand that this is a minority taste.

    Step forward http://www.youtube.com/user/nico19611 - whose comment on the video suggests he feels roughly the same way.

    The discovery of at least one other inhabitant of the planet with the same slightly off the wall tastes is heartening. I suppose there can be a downside with individuals with extreme minority intersests joining forces and communicating with each other. Nico19611 and I am unlikely to cause much unrest with our music tastes, but the tendency for small internet based groupings is that they begin to reinforce each others odd beliefs.

    So 20 people who previously would not known of each other's existance now can chat about whatever turns them on, for better or worse. Which means the possibility of something get blown up by fanatics is substantially greater than it used to be.

    Geoff

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  • Why do cocks go 'Cock-a-doodle-do'

    I proudly own a staggeringly loud Fender Twin guitar amp, which when warmed up emits a fiery orange glow from it's old style tubes. You can almost feel the energy being burned up crackling through the atmosphere.

    On a par in terms of pure decibels, the only thing that comes close to making such a racket lives 20 yards from my window in Turkey - a small frog. He's got some noisy friends as well - a strutty cockerel next door, loads of chirruping crickets and self-proclaimed queen of the neighbourhood, a pleasingly dyspraxic dog, 'Blacky'.

    Between them they create a hell of a racket. The frog can only be a few cm long but they are capable of belting out 100 decibels every few seconds. Their relationship between the kilajoules required to produce their call and their bodyweight is totally out of kilter with humans. These animals must be incredibly efficient in turning energy into noise.

    But, I have to ask, is it really worth it? Ok, they're calling for a mate or telling their offspring where they are, or whatever, but if they all did it a bit more quietly they'd burn less energy, making finding food less tiring and freeing up time for leisure activities.

    Geoff

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  • Techno attention deficit

    I'm sure that in the last few years organizational foul-ups in my life seem to be increasing. Have you ever turned up somewhere to find it’s the wrong town, wrong time, and even, as happened to me, meeting the wrong people?

    The reason why, I suspect, this is more likely these days is that we simply don’t read anything carefully any more. As we are required to filter out more and more junk information we skim emails and texts in order to check they don’t contain anything vital without actually taking in much at all.

    Chris has a technique for helping me overcome this which consists of writing ‘Read this email!’ on the first line of posts to me – or at least ones with fairly important ‘Purple Planet’ business.

    Geoff

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  • The Cost of Impatience

    A large proportion of youtubers energies are spent on trying to establish the authenticity of videos. ‘Epic Marriage Proposal Fail’ is one of the better additions to this catalogue. This supposedly real gem turns out to be an ad for Cadbury Bourneville. It’s wit and execution are top-drawer, but does it want to make you eat more chocolate? Well, yes, for me, possibly – but it doesn’t take me much to scoff Dairy Milk anyway.

    But taking the principle to standard ads on youtube, are advertisers really benefiting from forced streamed ads at the start of videos? The exquisite rage of waiting for the ‘You can skip to video in 5 – 4 – 3 etc’ to finish its agonizing course gets associated in ones mind with the product being advertised. Basic behavioral psychology suggests this is not a good thing. I can’t think Daihatsu, or whoever, want their cars to be linked with my burning rage.

    I think some serious research into this may reveal something we all slightly suspect anyway – that forced ads are so counterproductive that they take the idea of ad-based monetarisation back to square one.

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  • Paradise Lost

    I constantly tell people to be vigilant of every possibility of getting a hit video on youtube - the knack is to be vaguely ready with a camera and the try and hold the damn thing still.

    But when it happened to me - ineveitably I failed.

    I was on the 1st floor balcony in mid-afternoon with a gentle breeze swaying the tall rushes, when a little old lady in traditional Turkish dress, carrying logs, made her way up the pathway towards me. It was a bucolic mediterranean scene - a glimpse of a natural, simpler way of life.

    In fact, such was the simplicity of the lady's day, that she squatted down about 20 yards away from where I was sitting and had a huge crap.

    My camera was within reach...and having it's battery charged.:<

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  • Remixed tracks

    Thought I'd do a blog post for once! Been doing a lot of remixing of tracks recently - check out Rain On Lake Erie, Masala Madness and New York Cab Ride for examples.

    Chris

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  • Decent web cam (with Health and Safety Warning)

    t is surely one of the truisms of our time that web cams are generally rubbish.

    Most links to them are dead or they're turned off - or if they're turned on,

    the view is inexplicably of a vicarage carpark in Lampeter.

    But's here's one that actually works, is worth watching and,

    for the purposes of this blog, related to music.

    Abbey Road Studios has a permanent webcam stationed at the 'zebra' crossing

    pictured on the cover of The Beatles 1969 album 'Abbey Road'.

    It's looking from the 'wrong' direction - revealing that it's almost on a junction.

    Most telling is the number of people who seem to be permantly milling around

    (odd, considering its hardly in central London).

    The chance of seeing someone splattered must be quite high given that British people

    only have a hazy recollection of how zebra crossings are supposed to 'work' and

    Japenese tourists have no idea whatsoever.

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