Category Archives: Music

FOLLOW UP: Bose Quiet Comfort QC 15 Headphones (with Mobile Communications Kit)

Posted on March 7, 2011 by

This is a follow-up to my review of the Bose QC15 active noise reduction headphones, titled Bose Quiet Comfort QC15 Headphones (with Mobile Communications Kit)

A reader named Mark contacted me and asked for some more details, including sound quality of the Mobile Communications Kit in varying, less than ideal conditions. So, I decided to go for a short walk and get some outside background noise, and then also grab an equivalent memo indoors. It was very windy outside, so it was a great opportunity to test the microphone’s abilities in the wind. In both cases, the in-ear audio remained superb (I listened to music). As for microphone quality? Listen and make up your own mind.

Here is a sample of an iPhone voice memo, recorded Indoors, with very little ambient noise.

Here is a sample of an iPhone voice memo, recorded Outside, with significant ambient wind noise.

Hope these help give you a better understanding of call quality during ambient and windy conditions!
Chris

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United Airlines sucks!

Posted on July 8, 2009 by

A buddy of mine, Dave Carroll, was travelling via United Airlines to a concert in Nebraska. While they were loading his $3500 Taylor guitar into the baggage compartment, the baggage handlers threw it, breaking it. Here is the story.

He went through all the proper channels and United Airlines in all their glory, refused to do a thing to help, despite the complete lack of professionalism their baggage handlers showed.

So, in true singer/songwriter fashion, Dave Carroll promised them he was going to write and sing about their crappy service.

Here is the YouTube Video:

Apparently, this is only the first song. He is writing 2 more! 😉

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I know that you want to be Canadian

Posted on July 3, 2009 by

OK, this video is just too funny and kind of grows on you.

(Thanks to Shawn for finding the lyrics)

CANADIAN SING-A-LONG!

Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please

Even if in winter things tend to freeze

We’ve got the world monopoly on trees

And our country’s bordered by three different seas

Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please

We invented the zipper, we’ve got expertise

We made insulin to combat disease

Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please

CHORUS

Brits have got the monarchy

The US has the money

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

The French have got the wine and cheese

Koalas chill with the Aussies

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

Et si ce n’était pas assez

On a deux langues officielles:

L’anglais et le français

Ooh la la

Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please

Where else do you find mounted police

Or go to the hospital and not pay fees

Yeah I know that you wanna be Canadian, please

And when freshwater is in high demand

We’ve got the world’s largest supply on hand

So you know that we could make a pretty good friend

But it’s even better if you can be…

CHORUS

So you’re thinking to yourself,

“How do I live in this beautiful country?”

Well we’ve got some steps for you to follow…

STEP 1: Lose the gun

STEP 2: Buy a canoe

STEP 3: Live multiculturally

STEP 4: You’re ready, there is no more!

We got beavers, caribou and moose

We got buffalos, bears, and Canadian goose

And we’re sorry about Celine Dion

But she did do that good song for James Cameron…

CHORUS

Brits have got the monarchy

The US has the money

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

The French have got the wine and cheese

Koalas chill with the Aussies

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

The Greek chilled out with Socrates

Can’t build a wall like the Chinese

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

In Kenya they have safaris

We’ve missed lots of other countries

But I know that you wanna be Canadian

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A 'Cymbal' of things to come?

Posted on June 15, 2009 by

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Sabian buried 100 cymbals in a muddy hole in the ground eight months ago near their factory in Meductic, New Brunswick, and today they unearthed them.

According to the CBC article, these cymbals produce a better sound quality:

After they were cleaned off, Sabian technician Nort Hargrove checked to see if the eight-month hibernation had made a difference.

“Absolutely,” he said, noting a different sound in his playing.

“What it is is the high register seems to be a little more dominant. When you play it, the edges of the cymbal are wavering.”

That’s supposed to provide a richer sound, especially for jazz.

The success of the experiment is good news for Sabian and for the drummers and collectors who’ve already put their orders in for buried cymbals.

All 100 are already spoken for — they retail for $800, about a third more than the regular price.

The company plans to donate some of the proceeds to the Children’s Wish Foundation.

The article further stated that fans of Sabian cymbals include Phil Collins, Neil Peart of Rush and Keith Harris of the Black Eyed Peas.

I think this will definitely allow drummers to get downright dirty…

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Canada vs. Russia Challenge hockey game in Saint John

Posted on November 19, 2008 by

Tonight I went to see the Canada Russia Challenge Juniors game at Harbour Station. It was a sellout (almost 6500 people, although the real news item was that the 50/50 draw went for over $11,000!)

OK, it wasn’t technically Canada vs. Russia, because it was the Russian All-Stars against the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League All-Stars, but that’s pretty close… The game was televised on Sportsnet. You can see their broadcast schedule here.

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The Russians are in Canada to play 6 games against Canadian Junior squads, 2 games against the QMJHL All-Stars, two against the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) All-Stars, and the final two against the Western Hockey league (WHL) All-Stars.

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It is an interesting idea, having their All-Stars play our All-Stars, but the format is a little bit biased in their favour, since the Russians will be playing together as a team for all six games, giving them time to get their game together, while the three Canadian Junior leagues only play together for two games before going back to their regular league teams. Oh well, it just means that the Russians should get harder to beat the longer they play together, which is fine, because they should be hard to beat or they wouldn’t be worthy adversaries! 🙂

Hope those Western boys bring their game faces and are ready to play!

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After losing 5 – 3 to our boys in Sydney Monday night (Nov 17, 2008), at tonight’s game, they proved to be up to the task, beating the QMJHL All-Stars 4 – 3 in an game that could have been even more lopsided in their favour. Both teams looked a bit shaky, missing easy passes and fanning on great opportunities. Probably nerves, there is a lot on the line and the scouts were in the stands watching. Overall, I do think Russia outplayed our boys and deserved the win. The Russians looked stronger and were on top of the Q team more often than they were on their heels. Both goalies played well, and he Q goaltender, Allen, appeared stunning in a few saves on the ice to keep the local boys in the game, but appeared to have a bit of trouble controlling some high shots. The first goal he let in was a high shot over the shoulder as he was sprawled out in the butterfly position.

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They play the next game tomorrow night in Guelph. Should be a great game.

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Oscar Peterson passes on

Posted on December 24, 2007 by

A great and talented Canadian musician, Oscar Peterson passed away today at his home outside Toronto at age 82. A lot of people have called him the world’s greatest jazz pianist. He definitely tickled the ivory like few others could. He has played with such greats as Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Stan Getz… the list goes on.

In my copy of Encyclopedia of Jazz and Blues by Shadwick, Peterson has page 264 all to himself.

Here are a few of the writeups:
CBC
CTV
Globe and Mail
National Post

Oscar Peterson
Image linked from Canadian Press (http://images.ctv.ca/archives/CTVNews/img2/20071224/450_cp_opeterson_071224.jpg)

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Nadine's Concert

Posted on May 28, 2006 by

Here is a prepared shot of the group before the audience arrived. I had a tripod, flash, and all the fixins…

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From here on in during the concert, I was forced to use available light (no flash permitted), so they may appear a bit graninier.

Here is their opening act…

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Nadine and Kate worked together on a song…

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Nadine got into her performance of “If I were a Bell”…

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Claire put on a good song about having a cold…

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Aidan, who spent the afternoon in the church nursery with a babysitter, had a blast!

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And here is Marilee trying to reward me for a job well done! Honest, I 'm sure that's what she had in mind!!! ;-)

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Great Big Concert

Posted on March 27, 2006 by

I remember seeing Natalie McMaster at the Imperial Theatre a few years ago and being blown away at how great a venue it is for good music acts, and I was not disappointed tonight.

Tonight I went to the Great Big Sea concert at the Imperial Theatre and it was definitely the best concert I have seen in a long time. All 900 or so tickets were sold out well in advance for the concert and I doubt anyone in attendance was unhappy with the sticker price (~$50/ticket). They started with a “Maritime kitchen party” first set, where they talked and joked, played some good folk stuff from their new album (The Hard and The Easy) and just all around got the crowd into a feeding frenzy. The second set was filled with their classic tunes, and they came out for two solid encore performances.

Rating: 11/10

(I would rate it higher, but they have no women in the band and I was getting wet from the drool of all the women around me…)

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A Trip to HMV

Posted on February 12, 2006 by

First purchase was the “Walk the Line” soundtrack. I liked the movie and was impressed with Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon's ability to pull off the vocals, and the soundtrack is just a nice added touch. $17 at HMV, I could have piocked it up at Amazon for about $15, but this way I didn't have to wait.

While there, I also picked up Pink Floyd's “The Wall” and “P.U.L.S.E.” for a combined price of $30. Not bad. I was replacing my Wall CDs which, years ago, walked away during a house party. Although I have had a burned copy of Wall for years, plus I have the re-make done after the Berlin Wall fell, I wanted to replace the original. P.U.L.S.E. was just a bonus. Of course, my interest in replacing that particular album has increased since listening to Luther Wright & the Wrongs and their bluegrass cover “Rebuild the Wall” (see previous blog post “Floyd Redux”).

In comparison, Amazon has that combo for $47.98 CDN, so I am happy with that price.

All of these have now been burned for “safe” play and added to my mobile collection for the road (The Supreme Court has agreed with my right to burn backups of my own music, and having had vehicles broken into before, I now make sure that any crackhead who steals my music collection will be hard-pressed getting any money for it – a couple of dozen burned CDs… -) >

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Pink Floyd Redux…

Posted on February 4, 2006 by

Luther Wright and the Wrongs, a Kingston, ON band (FYI – Kingston is also home of the Tragically Hip, Don Cherry, Doug Gilmour, Kirk Muller, and Dan Akroyd – not to mention me for 5 years!), is the artist behind this loaner album. He said “Don't think about it too much, just listen.”

Well, let me tell you, at first I was taken a little by urprise by the sounds. But, soon the lyrics I have enjoyed so many times over the years started to bring it all together for me and my foot started tapping, fingers started snapping, and oh yeah, I even started singing along (yeah, scary thought)!

The funny part of this whole things is… Luther Wright and the Wrongs remade Pink Floyd's “The Wall” album in a very peculiar way… in BLUEGRASS! What a hoot, and I like it! OK, in all honesty, I have an exceptionally eclectic taste in music anyway…

So, Rob gave me a little history behind this album… Luther Wright apparently, like most people with any taste in the world, is a huge Floyd fan. He always thought he could hear a bluegrass sound “trying to get out” whenever he heard the album, so he wrote away to Roger Watters and asked if he could do the project. Roger replied with two words – Good Luck!

The album is called “Rebuild the Wall” and on it, they covered all 26 of the original songs from the two CD release, but manage to keep it on one disc by cutting out a lot of the special effects and background action. They also play with the whole concept by showing their wall made out of haybales rather than bricks… Oh yeah, and if you are a PC type, they also toned down some of the lyrics for a more PG14 audience…

I stopped off at John E's office after receiving it (John is an even more eclectic music buff than I am, and has spent many million dollars more than I trying to feed his addiction), and he had never heard it. After a few minutes listening, we started talking about the concept. Turns out, he loves it and pointed me in the direction of a release by David Grisman (Bluegrass performer) and Jerry Garcia (yes, the Deadhead himself) called “So What” that covers Miles Davis and John Coltrane songs in bluegrass, complete with mandolin riffs… Unreal! My eyes (and ears) have been opened! And I thought Phish doing Gin and Juice was twangy… -)

Anyway, if you have never heard one of your favourite bands covered in a completely different sound, try it, it is quite an experience!>

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