Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
I saw an excellent tribute band last night. Off The Wall, proclaiming themselves 'The Spirit of Pink Floyd'. And super they were too. Really accurate sounds and a great 2 hours of music and lights. I'd link to their web site but that seems to have gone AWOL....
Anyway, I've seen quite a few tribute acts in the last few years. Fun for the audience, who are transported on a trip down memory lane, but what about the performers? Playing the songs of their heroes is probably fun for the first few months, even the first year, but what about after that? Playing virtually the same songs in the same way, night after night? However tricky and complex they are, boredom must surely set in, and how they to conceal this from the audience?
The temptation is to start changing the songs, adding embellishments, experimenting - that's what all normal bands do. But if a tribute band starts altering the songs of their trademark, they get castigated and scorned. Everything has to be 100% authentic.
It's a tricky situation. Some bands (e.g. the Bootleg Beatles) seem to go on for years with few changes and seem very happy. I'm sure there are others which implode or stagnate, too. I guess a lot comes down to whether you can make a living from it. As the Bootlegs do, for example? In which case, it counts as 'work' and you simply grin and bear it, as most of us do our normal labours!!
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
One look at your house after a few weeks without vacuuming and you wouldn't know anything was amiss. But run the Dyson round it and you'll have a barrel chock full of dust, fluff and hairs. It's amazing. And a bit disgusting. But thinking of all this 'stuff' sitting around on your carpets, waiting to be disturbed and to fly up and be breathed in or cause allergies (etc), or to be a safe haven for mites and other insect nasties....
Try it yourself. It's sooo satisying doing the vacuuming now. Ooh, I must be getting old.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I've had a (kind of) epiphany. Having used a PVR (Personal Video Recorder, a.k.a. a Hard Disk Recorder) for the last few years for my time shifting of TV, the PVR in question died a death and it was time to look for a replacement. Yet nothing of any reasonable price seemed to fit the bill and I was umming and ahhing for a while.
And then my wife said 'Have you tried the new BBC iPlayer?' I hadn't, but I was fairly blown away. Any decent BBC programme (and let's face it, well over half the decent original new programmes are from the BBC) from the last seven days, available on demand? And all for free. Stunning.
Was this the end of my search for a way to timeshift TV? Not quite, I didn't really want to sit in front of a computer to watch TV every time.
But then came the news today that the BBC had introduced a version of iPlayer optimised for the Nintendo Wii. You'll recall that it has a reasonably up to date version of Opera (almost) built-in. So I tried it. Not bad, not bad at all. The video is only about 15 frames per second at the moment, but we're told that the BBC tech bods are working on improving this and optimising streaming still further.
With a little judicious zooming in, in the Wii Opera browser, we're now able to have BBC TV on-demand, on our lounge TV set, for free, with no need to remember to record anything, no need to pay for expensive hardware that will fail, etc.
The big catch, of course, is that non-BBC content isn't covered, but hey, there's always YouTube on the Wii for everything else in the video world!