Sunday, 26 September 2010

Banjo Binges

The other day I got my Limited Edition of Spinal Clock from TDRS. It's Limited because the first 500 pressings were signed and numbered by Buckethead, which I like.
I got #2, which I was a little bit disappointed at, but not too much. I was hoping for #1. On my copy he signed and numbered it, as well as drawing some arms and hands coming from the banjo's spine.
On the whole, it is a much, much better album than I was expecting. The tracks are actually structured rather than a recording of a guy strangling a banjo. The standout tracks are Lafayette's Landing, Spinal Cracker and Skeleton Dance, which all seem to be structured. The other tracks are OK, but nothing special.
But, as always with Buckethead LE albums, it has it's fair share of complete arse. Notably Gelatin Nerve and Whale On This.
Overall, a good way to spend $25, if you like Buckethead, and possibly banjos. But it's likely that the banjo nerds on their version of the TDPRI will see this as sacrilege.
It sounds a bit as it could be the theme to a Western film, and is less inbred sounding than I was expecting.
I will do a review shortly. I remember when I ordered this I thought it would be a play once and iPod straight away and then not listened to much again, but I think I'll certainly listen to it every once in a while.
There is a scan of the cover of mine.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Apple's New Stuff

It's that time of year again. A few months before Christmas, so Apple decide they have to release a whole range of new Poodies to allow them to continue to buy themselves diamond-encrusted iPhones and all that.
All the info I have here is taken from the Apple Website and the Engadget.
Anyway, to the matter of goosing:

iPod Touch G4:
Not much has changed, dramatically.
-Same amount of GiggleyBytes; 8, 32, 64.
-Front-facing camera so you can see your hideous friends if you want to talk to them. If you over-use this feature, you are probably better off getting an actual iPhone.
-Retina Display, just like the iPhone 4.
-720p Video Recording, I don't think it has a camera on the back as well, so you might not be able to see what you are recording if you have to use the front one. (Unless you are Bootsy Collins)
iPod Nano:
I Have no idea what is happening here. The iPod Nano has become some little, stumpy Elephant-Man version of the iPod Touch. This is no way a winning design. I think next year they will revert to at least something more like the old ones.
-Smaller, square.
-Multi-touch screen
-8 or 16GB capacities
-Clippy thing
-FM Radio (very surprised!)
So... That's it. I'm not a fan.

iPod Shuffle:
It's basically a remake of the old version. Apple seem to want to kill the iPod Shuffle by making the last design with no buttons on it at all, but they might have brought it back this time. Maybe they are hoping stupid people will buy both the Shuffle and the Nano because they think it's an optional Click-Wheel.
Not much to say about it, really. It's an iPod Shuffle.

iPod Classic:
No changes at all, as far as I can see. Just the regular old iPod. I'll get this one if I do any upgrading.

A few changes here, nothing enough to make me want one, or be able to see the point in them, but at least they've tried.
-It's smaller, blacker and looks all better compared to the last one.
-Streams HD content better, apparently
-Still no TV tuner, still basically the same as plugging your iPod into your TV.
-Looks like the name iTV was scrapped. Just as well, really. Not only were the real ITV annoyed, it also sounded ridiculous. TV/ATV is good.

iTunes 10:
A new iTunes has been announced to match all the new iPods, and I don't think I like it. They are trying to get me to join up to a silly social networking service called Ping. It's basically but probably not as good.
They have changed the logo, from the CD with a note in front to a blue circle with a note in it. I don't like it at all.
Also, they have moved the window-control buttons on the top-left corner to go vertically instead of horizontally. Not a fan of that either.
I think I'll be better off keeping with iTunes 9.
The lack of a CD in the logo makes me worry that in a few more iterations of iTunes the rip from/import from CD functionality will be dropped, allowing only for management of downloaded files or ones previously ripped.

The good thing about being a Pessimist is that you are always right or being pleasantly surprised.

Spinal Clock

I found out about this the day it happened, but I've been too lazy to make a post about it.

Buckethead has announced an LE. Another one. Called Spinal Clock.
It is a CD filled with 9 Banjo Binges, and it will be out 'on or around September 15th' said Travis.
It was $25 for the Limited Edition version, which will be signed and numbered by Buckethead.
Originally, there was only supposed to be a limited run of 300 copies, but they sold out so fast that Travis upped the limit to 500 copies. Slightly un-rarifying them, but these will still be one of the lowest numbered Limited Editions ever.
I think I have a good chance at getting my mittens of #1. It will be a good day then.