Monday, November 28, 2011

MUSIC FORMATS : IMPENDING CHANGES

I've lived long enough to see the changes and transformation in the way music is marketed and released to the public. When I was growing up, it was common to see vinyls or records sold in music stores. These came either in EP or LP form with the former containing 2 to 4 songs and the latter 10 to 12 songs. 8-track cartridges came not too long after that, making it possible for one to listen to music while driving. Cassette or audio tapes were very popular in the 80s since they were light, portable, affordable and more durable. When the first Walkman was introduced by Sony as a portable cassette player, the music industry saw a tremendous boost in sales of cassettes. CDs were introduced in the late 80s and they slowly gained popularity among music buyers. Now, music is offered to the public in whole new way. Downloading or streaming from iTunes and other music services is quite the norm nowadays especially among the younger generation. Consequently, the older music formats are slowly being abandoned by both buyers and publishers. We can't fight the digital age and sooner or later, changes are bound to happen but are we ready to embrace the changes? Will the changes bring far more good to all parties concerned namely the buyers, retailers, producers, artistes et cetera et cetera et cetera? As consumers, are we ready to happily accept this new format and abandon the old way we purchase and listen to music? Can downloaded audio files replace the psychical formats that we are so familiar with all these years? It's different when we talk about CDs replacing audio tapes or audio tapes replacing records since CDs, audio tapes and vinyls are all physical formats. Here we are talking about a digital form replacing the physical forms. As a consumer, I feel I will get my money's worth when I buy a physical format since I will be getting not only the music but a few other things as well. Album covers, booklets, mini posters, stickers, box, obi, promotional items et cetera et cetera et cetera will no longer be available for music buyers. Furthermore, the quality of the best downloaded audio files (so far) has still not matched that of a CD or vinyl. In other words, consumers have to shell out more money for a product of a lesser quality (and obviously with no extras). Listening to music is all about appreciating the beauty of sound and voice. It is not simply listening like what many people have been doing. Beauty will be lost when it is not appreciated and so will good music if it's abandoned jut to make room for something more convenient but inferior.



Saturday, November 26, 2011

NEW HIJRI YEAR 1433H

As we observe the new Hijri year, let us reflect earnestly on the past, stay firmly on the present and look positively towards the future. May Allah s.w.t. forgive our countless sins, and bless us with continuous mercy and endless favours. Ameen.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

LET'S KARAOKE 20 : THE WEATHER GIRLS - IT'S RAINING MEN

The rainy season is here and I think it's only appropriate if I feature a karaoke that is somewhat related to the wet weather. 1982. That was the year when this song came out. Totally from another time and another place (to some it might even be from another planet or dimension). Back then, I could not even understand why the song was titled 'It's Raining Men'. I had heard of raining 'cats and dogs' but definitely not 'men'. Yup, it totally boggled me. Yet, this song has endured and survived. A classic club staple, this song has become some sort of a gay anthem, women's anthem or whatever anthem you want it to be. One thing for sure, a spin from the DJ's booth will never fail to draw people to the dance floor. The song itself is fun, campy and infectious. It has been covered by Gerry Halliwell for the movie 'Bridget Jones's Diary', RuPaul and the Australian girl group, Young Divas. Still, nothing beats the original. The Weather Girls (or 'Two Tons O' Fun' as they were originally known) took this song to the top of the US Dance Hot Club Play in October 1982 and I'm pretty sure that it wasn't even raining then!

p/s 1 This is my 20th karaoke post so let's celebrate!

p/s 2 I have replaced one word with H.........! since some people might find it inappropriate to use a term that has a religious connotation.

p/s 3 And last but not least, be extra careful during this rainy season and don't let small children play outside without adult supervision. This public message is brought to you by elixiroflove.blogspot.com.

The single's cover

video

Hi. Hi!
We're your Weather Girls. Ah-huh
And have we got news for you. You better listen!

Get ready, all you lonely girls
And leave those umbrellas at home. Alright!

Humidity is rising
Barometer's getting low
According to our sources
The street's the place to go
Cause tonight for the first time
Just about half-past ten
For the first time in history
It's gonna start raining men

It's raining men! H.........!
It's raining men! Amen!
I'm gonna go out to run and let myself get
Absolutely soaking wet!
It's raining men! H.........!
It's raining men! Every Specimen!
Tall, blonde, dark and lean

Rough and tough and strong and mean

God bless Mother Nature
She's a single woman too
She took from the heavens
And she did what she had to do
She taught every angel to rearrange the sky
So that each and every woman could find her perfect guy

It's raining men
! H.........!
It's raining men! Amen!
It's raining men! H.........!
It's raining men! Ame---------nnnn!

I feel stormy weather moving in
About to begin
Hear the thunder
Don't you lose your head
Rip off the roof and stay in bed

God bless Mother Nature
She's a single woman too
She took off to heaven

And she did what she had to do
She taught every angel to rearrange the sky
So that each and every woman could find her perfect guy
It's Raining Men! Yeah!

Humidity is rising
Barometer's getting low
According to our sources
The street's the place to go
Cause tonight for the first time
Just about half-past ten
For the first time in history
It's gonna start raining men

It's raining men! H.........!
It's raining men! Amen!
It's raining men! H.........!
It's raining men!

Monday, November 21, 2011

SEA GAMES XXVI 2011 - SOCCER FINAL

Congratulations, Malaysia. We won. Despite everything that we had to endure in the land of our own brothers and sisters.

Friday, November 18, 2011

BENETTON'S UNHATE CONTROVERSIAL ADS

The world's problems are not equivalent to the petty quibbles that we usually have at home. When Benetton suggests in their latest advertising campaign that political and world leaders literally (or is it figuratively?) kiss and make up, it is IMO such a stupid thing to do. On the contrary, it might only fuel more animosity and resentment among us. I won't soil my blog by putting up the images from the campaign. There is nothing artistic about them especially when those images have been manipulated and tampered with. I cannot imagine having my own photos photoshopped and put up for all to see without my consent. I don't understand why Benetton had to come up with those pictures. Weren't there any sensible people working in the ad and marketing department anymore? The company used to come up with colourful images depicting people of different races, ethnic groups and walks of life wearing their clothing. Those images are beautiful, colourful, pleasing, non-controversial and non-political (some contain nudity, of course). There is nothing (too) provocative or disrespectful about them and yet the message is clear. Benetton has clearly crossed the line this time and instead of promoting UNHATE, they have only managed to show how UNCOUTH they can be.

p/s Don't you simply love these colourful and happy images?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

ALBUM COVERS INSPIRED BY ART AND OTHER SOURCES - PART II

Lucille Handberg - Tornado

Deep Purple - Stormbringer

Siouxsie & The Banshees - Tinderbox

Auguste Rodin - Eternal Idol

Black Sabbath - The Eternal Idol

Henri Rousseau - The Snakecharmer

Fleetwood Mac- Tango In The Night

Man Ray - Tears

Cyndi Lauper - What's Going On

Charles Allan Gilbert - All Is Vanity

The Damned - Stretcher Case Baby

Def Leppard - Retro-Active

Saturday, November 12, 2011

SITI NURHALIZA - FALLING IN LOVE

Love the concept of flash mob in the video but I still feel that something is missing. Anyway, enjoy it!

video

Friday, November 11, 2011

11.11.11

Special? Of course it is special since everyday is special. More so because it's a Friday and there is a full moon tonight!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

HERO THE CAT

There is nothing new about this story since many bloggers have already written about it. Still, I feel a deep sense of obligation to dedicate a short entry for this special cat. I'm pretty sure many have heard or read about 'Hero', the cat whose front legs were amputated simply for stealing food from a restaurant. Until now, I can't even look at any picture of Hero without feeling sad and mad at the same time. Sad to know that he has to live like that for the rest of his life and mad at the person who did that to him. Hero might not be a pedigree cat of distinguished breed but he is still one of God's creatures and he deserves to live like anyone of us. So how can a person be so heartless and so cruel to inflict such inhumane punishment for such a petty crime committed by a hungry stray cat? I guess we will never know the answer to that question but I know one thing for sure. One fine day, the person who did what he did to Hero will receive what he truly deserves. Call it anything you want to. Karma. Payback. Divine retribution. Whatever it is, there is simply no way that he can get away with it. When the day comes, there is no where that he can hide. To the person who saved Hero, I can say that you are truly blessed for having a loving heart. May Allah bless you and your family.

Monday, November 7, 2011

WHITNEY HOUSTON AND SPARKLE

I have always loved stories about people who find strength and inspiration in times of trouble. Human stories like these usually warm the weary heart and give hope to the tired soul. Everyone knows about Whitney Houston's past troubles and now, my favourite singer is back in action to reprise the role of Effie in the movie remake of Sparkle. The original version was released in 1976 and stars Irene Cara (of Fame fame) and Philip Michael Thomas (of Miami Vice fame). Well, some of you might be too young to know who Irene Cara and Philip Michael Thomas are but let me tell you this. They were once big names in the entertainment industry especially in the 80s. In this movie, Whitney will play the role of mother to Sparkle (played by Jordin Sparks) and her two sisters. Not much is known about the progress of the movie so far but there is already a lot of buzz about the movie which is currently being filmed in Detroit. A few pictures of Whitney and the cast have also surfaced on the Internet and I have to admit that Whitney looks really good. I know there is going to be a soundtrack for the movie and I hope there will be a few songs from Whitney as well. The story is set in the 60s so expect to see a lot of retro and vintage stuff.