• Top albums of 2008

    Dez 22 2008, 23h03 por denick

    1.Flogging Molly - Float
    Superb album, well done guys (and girl)!
    A little bit more quiet and melancholic album this time, no problem! This is an excellent album with only good songs and not a single exception.
    Best tracks: Punch Drunk Grinning Soul, Us Of Lesser Gods

    2.Mark Lind and the Unloved - The Truth Can Be Brutal
    I must say this album was quite a pleasant surprise for me this year! I found out Mark was recording through the video for 'New Year's Day', which is a very good song so I was quite stoked. When I listened the whole album for the first time I concluded that it is very good. This is more Ducky Boys than Mark's solo albums.
    Best tracks: Wolves, Coke&Jack

    3.AC/DC - Black Ice
    Very decent AC/DC album, in my opinion up there with my personal favorites: The Razor's Edge and Flick Of The Switch.
    As was pointed out by a number of people, the album is somewhat repetitive. I agree, but that is AC/DC. Same goes for Motorhead. I dont mind, you know what you are going to get. On the other hand this one is much better than the last two:
    Stiff Upper Lip and Ballbreaker.
    Best tracks: Decibel, Anything Goes

    4.The Living End - White Noise
    Good album. I must admit that I hadn't listened to them in some time, but this album pulled them a bit higher on my playlist :)
    Best tracks: Listen Up Suzie, Hey Hey Disbeliever, Make The Call

    5.Motorhead - Motorizer
    Nice familiar Motorhead, I think I like the previous album better.
    Best tracks: When The Eagle Screams, The Thousand Names Of God

    6.Less Than Jake - GNV FLA
    Yes, they're back!
    Best tracks: Does The Lion City Still Roar?, Abandon Ship

    7.Mr. Irish Bastard - The Bastard Brotherhood
    Someone described these guys as the German Flogging Molly, I think German Pogues suits them better, they are quite similar, but absolutely not mimicking them. This is another decent and fun album.
    Best Tracks: Walk With Me, Christmas In Hell

    8.The Welch Boys - Drinkin Angry
    I was very stoked for this one, because I like the first album very much, but it did disappoint me. Just not a lot of memorable tracks and some tend to go on to long without variation, maybe this will change with some more listens. Lesser track: Route Irish.
    Best Tracks: Police Dog, Pervert, Ambulance Ride

    9.Sabaton - The Art of War
    Only recently discovered and I can already welcome a new album. Decent album, apart from the very annoying quotes at the beginning of each track!! Quotes as separate tracks: fine. But this is not cool.
    Best Tracks: Union, The Price Of A Mile

    10.Gaelic Storm - What's The Rumpus?
    Another decent album from these guys, with quite a bit instrumental tracks. :)
    Best Tracks: Don't Let The Truth Get In The Way, Floating The Flambeau
  • The Blind Guy Thinks Saturday Night Live's Paterson Skit is Funny

    Dez 16 2008, 16h44 por kb7clx

    For you who don't live in the US or haven't been watching the news lately, the incredibly popular and long-running comedy TV show Saturday Night Live has done a skit lampooning governor David Paterson of New York, and poking fun about everything from his blindness to his drug use. Lots of people, blind and sighted, think it was a low blow, but from this blind person's point of view this is funny shit! I didn't just listen to it, I've heard and read the descriptions and I still think it's funny. It would have been cool if instead of complaining, the governor had pulled a Palin and gotten himself on the show, then gotten an interview with a serious journalist with the aim of educating folks. A day in the life of New York's governor, showing how he does what he does, would've been much more effective in my view. Personally I think the NFB (National Federation of the Blind) can often be stubborn sticks-in-the-mud, I'm a bit surprised the ACB (American Council of the Blind) complained too though. I like what's said in these blogs
    I thought the upside-down chart especially funny. It's also pretty funny when a sighted person hands me some braille material upside down. I've unwittingly walked into camera shots myself, that was funny! I remember once on a trip with a scouting organization I was involved with, we went out to the desert for some star gazing, well I went along for the enjoyment of just being out in the desert with the guys. At one point was just moving around stretching my legs when one of them said "Oh wow! There's a bug crawling around on that planet!" Someone else said "No, it's just Shawn's ear." Turned out I had walked into the field of view, but just barely enough that just my ear was there.
  • Weighted top artists

    Set 7 2008, 20h37 por denick

    Weighted top artists

    So, my stats don't really show what I listen to most. Because of some bands you own ten live albums and of others just one album.
    That is why I calculated how my list would look like if this was taken into account.
    I did this by counting the number of files I own of a particular artist. The total number of plays divided by the number of files is shown in the rightmost column.

    This is my (former) top list sorted by the total number of plays (first column):

    Plays Artist Files Plays/Files
    2870 Motörhead 720 3,99
    2383 Dropkick Murphys 309 7,71
    2244 Bad Religion 383 5,86
    2169 Dark Moor 135 16,07
    1789 Ensiferum 90 19,88
    1713 Flogging Molly 95 18,03
    1688 AC/DC 279 6,05
    1562 Swingin' Utters 128 12,2
    1475 Rancid 196 7,53
    1357 Street Dogs 50 27,14

    If we sort this by Plays/Files (now in the first column), we'll get this:

    Plays/Files Plays Artist Files
    48 576 The Welch Boys 12
    27,14 1357 Street Dogs 50
    22,3 513 Nemesea 23
    19,88 1789 Ensiferum 90
    18,03 1713 Flogging Molly 95
    17,91 1236 Zolof The Rock & Roll Destroyer 69
    17,6 880 The Ducky Boys 50
    17,45 1012 Filthy Thieving Bastards 58
    16,07 2169 Dark Moor 135
    15 855 Mad Caddies 57

    Discussion of the results
    It is clear that specifically small artists rise to higher places on this list, this is of course not very strange.
    Plays divided by Files in fact means how many times I listened every file of a artist on average. It's funny that the value for Motorhead is 4, pretty low. This is because they have a lot of studio albums and I also own a lot of their live albums.
    I only own one Welch Boys album, but I listened a lot to it because it's the only one I can listen to obviously!
    The only artists common in both lists are: Street Dogs, Ensiferum, Flogging Molly and Dark Moor, so 40% of the original list. I listened to these bands both absolute as well as relatively a lot.

    After this analysis of my top artists, I liked to reset my profile. Now I can watch again how it evolves, if I am going to listen to as much Motorhead :p

    It is possible to download a datafile from last.fm http://ws.audioscrobbler.com/1.0/user/denick/topartists.txt?type=overall (change to your own username). Rename txt to csv and open the file in openoffice.org calc. Then add a column for plays/files, add the formula, and sort by this column.
    In the journal I use [ pre ] and [ / pre ] for the formatting of the tables.
  • A Song & A Wee Pint

    Jun 19 2008, 20h56 por MusicalIrish

    Ah, you might be askin'….where does this man in his sixties who was born and raised in Southern California come by his love of Celtic Music.

    When I was a lad, maybe 8 or 9 years old, I had the most wonderful summer. I was shipped off to spend a couple of months with my grandfather. Grandpa John owned a ranch with orchards of fruit and nut trees in the state of Washington. This city boy learned a lot about the ranch and I like to think that I was of some help to my Grandpa.

    He probably did not realize it at the time but his influence during that brief stay would remain with me for the rest of my life. During the day I would work along side him, but the evenings…that was different. He would spend hours telling me tales of the family history….the family from the Old Country. Oh, there were tall tales to be sure, but I think I believed it all….probably still do. Grandpa John played the guitar, banjo and the strangest thing to me the “Irish Button Box”. What a “bad” influence he was on me, teaching me the Rebel Songs and the Drinking Songs. Didn’t I just love it all…learned to play the guitar and the banjo good enough to accompany Grandpa John on the button box, our voices raised in song.

    Grandpa John had passed away before, as a middle aged adult, I made my first trip to Ireland. I visited County Mayo and County Clare where my Irish family had lived. I went to Churches and Government offices where traces of the old family history were found. I also spent time in many a pub and joined in singing the songs I had known and loved since my youth.

    To this day I still love a good Rebel or Drinking Song. With age has come some stiffness in the joints of my hands so I don’t play guitar or banjo much any more. I have come to enjoy some of the softer Celtic music. The music I listen to can still drive those around me nuts, but then some of the Rock & Rap music they play has the same effect on me.

    I pray that I’ll be able to make just one more trip back to Ireland, before I pass. One more trip to be with the friendly people, to go to a pub and have a wee pint and join in singing the good songs.

    Some songs I plays over and over

    Men Behind the Wire

    Rare Ould Times