Sunday, 22 February 2009

Music Industry Shoots Self In Foot. Again

Upcoming U2 album all over web/P2P after band's label screws up
What's the worst thing that could happen to a band that is adamantly pro-DRM and anti-filesharing? Having an unreleased album leaked all over the Internet, of course, and by one of the Big Four labels to boot. U2's upcoming album, No Line on the Horizon, is slated for release on March 3, but it's already available on numerous filesharing sites and P2P networks thanks to the accidental posting of the album by Universal's Australian branch.
As PC World notes, U2 has traditionally been so paranoid about early, unauthorized leaks that it has set up secret "listening parties"—no cell phones allowed—for industry insiders instead of simply sending out copies for review. All of these measures are not only inconvenient for the band and industry folk, they're also (obviously) not working when leaks like this can happen with the accidental press of a button. And, the more you fight people's ability to listen to your music the way they want, the more pleasure they'll take in illegally downloading your yet-to-be-released album when it pops up on BitTorrent.

Spriggsblog Goes To The Movies. Again.

Right, well, i've been busy -- trying to catch up, trying to reduce the pile of unwatched DVDs.

On Monday, it was the bonus disc of "Europa" -- which was almost all interviews and, although interesting, was pretty dry. I was, however, amazed to learn that Barbara Sukowa -- who stars as Kat Hartmann -- is not, in fact, a German married to an oriental gentleman (and had taken his name). For years, i had been pronouncing her name as "soo-KOW-uh," when in fact it is pronounced "SOO-kuh-vuh." Yes, i do feel a twit.

Tuesday, i watched "The Dark Knight." It's not my type of film, actually, and seems aimed primarily at teenaged boys (and it is a long time since i was one of those). However, having said that, Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker is an absolute tour de force -- and the film is worth watching for that alone. Incidentally, the cover photo is a rather chilling image -- but in fact references to 9/11 abound....

On Wednesday it was "Music And Lyrics." Er, not a milestone in the romantic comedy genre, but it wasn't bad, with Hugh Grant basically playing himself, and Drew Barrymore lighting up the screen whenever she smiled. I felt warm and fuzzy at the end, though, so it did its work.

And then, Thursday, it was "Wall-E." Ohhh... c'est magnifique! I bought the DVD without knowing anything about it other than that Peter Gabriel had a song on it (and my love for PG knows no limits). But the film is so brilliant and delightful, i may watch it again tonight.

But it never ends. On Saturday i bought two James Bond DVDs ("Dr No" and "Thunderball") and when will i find the time to watch them? Next week, maybe. I'll let you know....

Monday, 16 February 2009

"Family Day"

Here in Ontario, today is a statutory holiday, "Family Day" -- and how's that for an unimaginative name?

I think it's madness. This is only the second year we've had it, and i think that the only reason we have been given a holiday at this time, is because our legislators (who take a month off at Christmas) feel we need a break between New Year's and Easter. It certainly has no historical or traditional foundation. I think it's fiscal insanity, frankly. The economy is going into the toilet and here we are, paying people for not working, or, in my case, paying me double-time-and-a-half to do my job.

On a happier note, i watched Lars Von Trier's "Europa" a.k.a. "Zentropa" last night. It was called "Zentropa" in the U.S. because there was already a film called "Europa, Europa" and American confuse easily (i suppose). Anyway, it's a favourite.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Spriggsblog Goes To The Movies

We've just devoted the past two evenings to watching the 2-disc edition of Ridley Scott's "Kingdom Of Heaven" -- disc one has the film itself, and then disc two has all of the bonus features one might expect along with two historical documentaries.

Mr Scott is one of my favourite directors, and he does not disappoint.

Saturday, 7 February 2009


No, it's not about Medea -- she was a tragic figure -- this is all happy stuff.

I watched "Burn After Reading" last night and it's the Coen brothers at their very best. Every character in the film is addled and it's full of typical Coen irony. Brililiant

I also bought two CDs: the new Bruce Springsteen and Arkells' "Jackson Square."

Life is good. Well, it's better than the alternative, anyway!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Photography Is My Avocation -- Not!

I have just opened a Flickr account:

So far, I only have one pic up, and it’s the one you see here, taken on Tuesday when I went to Kelsey’s pub after work for a couple of quick pints and nipped outside for a smoke. A very quick smoke, I might add!

But I expect I’ll be adding more photographs in due course. I only bought the camera in November and – a far from enthusiastic photographer, I – I hardly started to play with it until my week off at Christmas. I still haven’t figured out many of the settings, but I did buy “Digital Photography for Dummies.” Now all I have to do is find the time to read it….