Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wow am I out of live practice!

It's been a few months so doubtless it'll take a little time to get back into the live thing again. Bringing the 5 string fretless was a baptism of fire, the guitarist played dropped D and nobody told me so I found out the hard way ;-)

Luckily it's a fretless so you can get away with a few Les Claypool moments heh heh

Tonight at Tilehurst...

... I'll be playing my first live stuff in about 9 months :-)

The function band thing will ramp up soon, I'm told - I've been using Spotify with the free 2 hours service as a way to compile and practise along with set lists. Extremely useful, and helps a lot as I don't have to but a track here and a track there. I'm not a fan of downloading tune by tune from iTunes, I think it's going to kill creativity in any music for commercial release as anyone who has half a hit will have demands placed upon them for "the difficult second single".

How many artists from the golden ages of the last 50 years have had free licence to experiement a little on their albums? This will end completely if the current trend of all music becoming the equivalent of the 99p woolworth's bargain bin continues.

I digress. This subject does press my buttons.

If you want to come and see me sweat with a Warwick Fretless 5 string, come to the Plough in Tilehurst and see some great musicians. Weird pub, this - seems to have a concentration of excellent musos within spitting distance, resulting in a decent jam night nearly every time.

The Plough Inn
78 School Rd
RG31 5AW
United Kingdom

See you there, maybe...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why people are buying android phones

It's because they're better then symbian. But as this fellow found out, android is still too geeky and windows-like in some aspects:

Plus, the device sounds like a pisspoor hardware platform.

- Posted on the move

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Apple GameCentre

Wow. This got pushed onto my iPhone with iOS4.1 - but I hadn't looked at it yet.

What a piece of crap - this software is definitely not up to apple's usual standards. I would wager it didn't come through the same teams as work on iOS proper, and I'm surprised it was approved in the first place, for several reasons:

1. the font is ugly as hell
2. All the text is black on DARK GREEN which renders it hard to read
3. The slider switch controls only seem to respond to tapping (!!)
4. When I registered my usual apple ID email address, I then had to re-authorise it(?)
5. The graphics (stupid bloody banner things on every button) make it hard to work out what is and isn't a control

There are other points, but the overall point is this application is a miserable addition to the iPhone. I've hidden it away in a distant folder in a distant corner so it doesn't offend my eye (even the app icon sucks).

Has anyone used the feature?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A cautionary tale for iPad users!

A friend of mine at work is in the Apple Developer Programme, and also has an iPad. At the moment, the iPad is a little behind the rest of the iOS devices, in that it's still running a v3.x.x version of the operating system. Lots of people would argue that that's fine - and my experience so far has been that it's a wonderful device - but anyone with an iPhone with iOS4 on it knows that there are some very useful features which definitely enhance the user experience.

As part of the developer programme, he gets early releases of upcoming iOS versions and he got v4.2 for the iPad and tried it out. It seems apple quality control is not that applicable to their beta releases - his 3G connection was well and truly borked and the mail application crashed a lot.

"Fair enough" thought he "I'll downgrade back to V3"

unfortunately this proved to be a vain hope - it appears he can't get the baseband to downgrade as well, so he's stuck with the dodgy beta or an iPad which won't power up.

So if you're an iPad user and you're on the dev programme - it would appear you need to consider taking the beta release very carefully. Apparently forum postings indicate that the non-3G iPads may have an easier time of it - which might well indicate a problem with the baseband software as, of course, a non-3G equipped iPad probably doesn't have baseband software at all.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Spofity - late to the party but impressed.

I've recently started using spotify; I had thought you had to be invited but was pleasantly surprised to see I could start an account myself.

I looked again as I've got a function band project starting up, and the playlist, while containing a lot of standards I know well, does contain the odd one I don't have a CD for and haven't played live.

I really enjoy immersing myself in bass lines, working out the style, phrasing, touch, so I really fancied finding the original tracks.

I'm allergic to iTunes' quality and as a musician I hate the buy-one-song philosophy as I believe it stifles artist's potential to experiment in an album format and grow.

So when I realised what you could do with Spotify I was really impressed with it as a resource. Got the whole setlist with original recordings in 10 minutes. And now it's a playlist I can use it on the studio machine, plug the laptop into the headphone amp... Nifty.

I'd recommend it to any muso learning tracks.

- Posted on the move