Monthly Archives: March 2012

I’ve got a fever inside of my soul..

I don’t usually bother going out on my birthday, but as a friend informed me his all time favourite artist Jason Pierce was bringing his latest incarnation of Spiritualized to Nottingham, it seemed rude not to go and check it out at The Rescue Rooms.  Really enjoyable, although with his notorious lack of crowd interaction and a not exactly lively stage persona (coupled with me becoming an old duffer) I can’t help but think it would’ve been better in reclining chairs!

Definitely worth checking out.  Celebrations ended with a couple of cheeky drinks in The Bell which was surprisingly busy.  Today I’m meant to be on an all-dayer to signify Andy’s stag do.  Think I’m going to have to take it quite steady!!

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A twist in the tale of our monkey..

In this digital age it’s quite unusual for me to physically buy music – the convenience of consuming music in a  format best-suited to how I use it seems most sensible.  But it is good to get your mits on a CD – be it from an infrequent browse in Fopp – or, like yesterday, sent to you directly from the artist with a nice inscription on the sleeve (admittedly as a result of a high-tech PayPal payment sent to them).

So that’s how I came to possess Nick Burbridge and Tim Cotterell’s acoustic album ‘Gathered’.

Found out about through Facebook, ordered via PayPal (the first to order, too!) but a nostalgic CD-through-the-post delivery.  I first got into Nick’s music through McDermott’s 2 Hours, and I first got into McDermott’s 2 Hours because the Levellers covered one of their songs (Dirty Davey) – and subsequently collaborated with him for album releases too.  Songwriter, poet and beguiler Nick has a real gift, as clearly does Tim Cotterell who provides the instrumentals.

So the first job was to rip to iTunes which I did last night – and have now had a chance to sit and listen, and I love it.  Relaxed acoustic numbers that offer such catchy melodies and expressive vocals coupled with intricate and evocative lyrics – it’s lovely.  After only a couple of listens I’m very much sold – The Monkey and Sister Mercy stand out for me, along with the deliciously dismissive Snake in the Grass.  Definitely something you should check out.

Even better, there’s a McDermott’s 2 Hours album in the offing, too – what a bumper crop 2012 promises to have (new Levellers album due, too!).

Available from – www.burbridgearts.orgwww.levellers.co.ukwww.spiralearth.co.uk – and selected retail outlets from 17th March 2012

Categories: blog, levellers | 1 Comment

iOS 5.1 and iTunes Match.. close, but no cigar.. yet.

I must admit that whilst I really like the idea of iTunes Match and still don’t regret subscribing to it if nothing else as a music-backup opportunity, the delivery of the offer on iOS devices was so shonky that I ended up disabling it on my iPhone and iPad.  Frustrations over missing artwork (hello, OCD!) and a couple of erroneous button presses meaning my phone attempted to download swathes of music over a cellular connection just caining my data allowance all mounted up to just switching it off.

Upon updating to iOS 5.1 I had been looking to see if people had noted any improvements on iTunes Match – and it’s been pretty quiet.  So, sitting on a Friday afternoon at work waiting for a query to run on our database I mischievously slid the slider to on – to be greeted with a new option that I’ve not seen mentioned elsewhere.  You can deactivate cellular transfers (once I realised it was happening before I ended up disabling data manually) for iTunes Match – woo.

So that’s one very sensible reservation answered – I won’t end up with a big data fee now by accidentally trying to download my entire Levellers collection (yes, that’s predictably what happened!! – shuffle artist with everything showing – oh, I’ll just download ALL that for you, shall I?).  As far as I can tell there’s still no option to download iTunes matched content at a 128kbps rate as you can with an iTunes sync – so I imagine I’ll still be switching between Match and non-Match on my phone.

Now the Music.app is working and thinking about what I’ve asked it to do – past experience shows that it takes the phone a while to get the information it needs to show all the stuff not on it that is in your library – so I’m content to leave it to it and see what happens.  Cautious optimism is the watchword – music missing from my phone is now visible, there are obsessive compulsiveness twitching gaps in my album artwork – however, I’m prepared to be patient to see if that is resolved once the updating phase finishes.

In summary – it’s still not quite right, but I might be more prepared to live with it from a mobile situation.  Oh, playlists are often a source of consternation with iTunes Match – mine have all appeared as I would expect to see them and I can use them as I would normally (starting to see the missing artwork crop up though!).  No sign of Genius Mixes though.

Categories: iPhone / iPad / Mac | 9 Comments

It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it..

Phew. I’m on the one week countdown to time off work – I’m looking forward to it, I’m feeling increasingly frazzled so could do with some down-time.  In between a busy time at work and at other work (where I’m really pleased with the progress I’ve made on the website) there’s been a veritable update-fest in the world of Apple geekery – not only new iTunes and iOS releases but also exciting things like the iPhoto app for iPad and iPhone.

It’s early days yet but I quite like it – in fact, I wish they would replace the Photo.app with it completely – because the main bugbear I have is that it doesn’t have any ability to manage your camera roll – just save things on to it afresh once edited.  A fairly small complaint really – once I have some time to have a bit more of a fiddle with it I’m looking forward to see what can be done with it.

Not least I’ve enjoyed presenting pictures in Journals – so much I added a link to my iCloud journals  up above (having learned more about the splendours of custom menus through my work on the Broadwalk Property Management website!).  So far there’s a hastily cobbled together effort based on the pictures from the Rolf Harris escapades from November 2010 (wow, was it really that long ago?!) – I’m sure I’ll come up with some more as time goes on.

Next week is my last at work for a bit – as is customary I’ve been inadvertently stockpiling holiday and have a chunk to take, so basically by birthday in a week’s time right through to April will be away-from-t’office time.  A little under a week of that time will be spent down in Dorset which I’m really looking forward to as well.

That’s not to say that there won’t be things to keep me occupied, of course.  On my birthday itself I’m off to see Spiritualized with a couple of friends, on St. Patrick’s Day it’s the stag do of another friend and finally the friday after will mark a key work departure and thus a ma-hoo-sive leaving do will be in order there.  He’s moving to Australia too so it might be an excuse for a bit more Rolf-related shenanigans if I have my way..!

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