Sunday, December 28, 2008

Kingston Lord

A few weeks ago, we were thinking of going to a gig in Kingston, because it featured our new favourite band, Tubelord. And after a few google searches and e-mail rendezvous with the band, we managed to get to the gig, which was said to be pretty much invite-only.

But then we came to the pub/venue, and we didn't have any trouble getting in. They didn't ask for names, but they did ask for proof of age, since it was an over-18 venue.

Pretty much everyone there knew each other. I think it was supposed to be just a local gig, with local bands (except for Blakfish who came all the way from Birmingham) and their friends.

First to perform was They were okay, but the vocals got drowned out by the music. And it paled in comparison with the other three bands that were to come. (Click for myspace)

Next was Blakfish. Who was amazing.

Blakfish (click for myspace)

After Blakfish was the reason we came all the way to Kingston in the first place. Tube-fucking-lord. They were awesome. The crowd went wild. The finale of "I Am Azerrad" was immense.

Then came Colour, a band I didn't know much about or listened to. They were well brilliant. "Unicorns" is an amazing tune.

Colour (click for myspace)

When we were going out of the Fighting Cocks (yes, that's the name of the place) we managed to stumble onto Blakfish on the way. And at the pub they were singing along to Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters."

And here's another photo from Kingston.


Signing out

Over and out

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Time Of Foals

I really can't wait. After what was a frustrating week, this week I've got them to look forward to:

A sonic fits of math rock and psychedelic pop with a dash of dance punk, techno and minimalism, their music is as catchy as a mutated flu, with lyrics that are as escapist as they are incomprehensible. I've mentioned Foals before on this blog. Like all Foals videos, this one is as incomprehensible as their lyrics.

Foals - Balloons

Hailing from Oxford (some of them studied at the University too) they came out with one of the best debut albums this year, Antidotes. Their music borders on instrumentalism, with the vocals rather than serving as a verbal expressive become a part of the sonic audio attack, especially in 'Red Socks Pugie' and 'The French Open.'

I'm going to see them this weekend at the sold-out show in The Carling Academy, Oxford. Just so long as my allowance doesn't get delayed by another week. Oh, by the way, click on the photo to go to the band's official website, and here for their myspace.

Signing out

Over and out

Now playing: Foals - Big Big Love (Fig. 2)
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Review: Harman Kardon Go + Play iPod Dock

Device: Harman Kardon Go+Play iPod Dock
Manufacturer: Harman Kardon
Rating: 4 out of 5

I don't need much in my speakers: amazing sound, amazing looks, simplicity, and plays with my laptop.

With that in mind, this sexy beast is the perfect thing for me.

First, the looks. It looks beautiful. Look at it making love to my iPod Touch. The stainless steel arch, the matte black finish. Simple, yet so elegant. If there was ever a boombox for the arty, this is it. Its retro-futuristic style is what I expect from Harman Kardon, which is known for making some of the best-looking speakers out there.

Second, the sound. Out of the box, it sounds amazing. Out of any of the portable iPod docks I've heard, this is the best. You don't need to adjust anything. The sound balance is just right. That's just as well, because you can't adjust the treble and bass levels from the speakers itself. There're only three buttons: the power button, and the two volume buttons. This might be a problem for some, but for me, it's too minor. It sounds awesome to begin with, you don't really have to change anything. This thing is much louder than my JBL Creature II (which I love to bits), and sounds much better.

Third, the features. It's got an RF remote, which means you don't have to point to the speakers to use it. The plastic feels a bit cheap compared to the speakers, and when you try to navigate through your iPod, the whole thing turns into a complex mess. But then it's got a compartment at the back for the remote, which hides it if you give up trying to learn how the iPod navigation works.

One thing that annoys me is how my iPod Touch doesn't fully fit into the dock. It's supposed to charge most iPods, and from what I've heard, it does. But the charge function doesn't work on iPod Touch. Which sucks, because that's what I happen to have. And because it's supposed to lie down in the dock, you can't see the iPod menu from faraway. Which renders the iPod remote navigation useless. And even if you look at it from a bird's eye view, the handle gets in the way. The handle also gets in the way when you want to navigate through your iPod with your hands. But you can connect the system to your computer and sync your iPod through the system.

Overall, this is an amazing system. A bit pricey for some people. After postage and VAT, I paid about £180. And that's the cheapest I could find. The simplicity will attract some, and repel others.

If you have the money to spend and looking for a super-stylish, beautiful audio and an iPod dock (note: it does not charge iPod touch) that does not require complex setting-up and knob fiddling, this is for you.
Included with the device:
A/C Adapter
RF Remote
3.5mm auxilliary input with cable
8 iPod dock adaptors, for all iPods
iPod Nano and iPod Mini plastic safeguards
S-Video port (for watching anything from your iPod on a TV)
Can run on batteries