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.
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!
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.
They play the next game tomorrow night in Guelph. Should be a great game.
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.
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.
(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…)
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… >
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!>