Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jennifer Lara - who knew?

Well, the answer to that is: people who know more about Studio One than I do.

Now listening to the 'Studio One Presents Jennifer Lara' album. She can hold a note which is no mean feat because many of the singing JA daughtas I have heard sing terribly unlistenably flat.
There is a little deja vu of the incomparable Susan Cadogan (who sang quaintly flat in a manner acceptable to these ears!) for producer Lee Perry, but this is from a different time - maybe five years in the difference - and of course this is a Studio One collection. Late 70s stuff this - which means Mr. Mittoo was spending most of his time in Canada and most of the ruffest and tuffest of the Studio One session lads were off doing something else...

Hence some of the familiar riddims are done over (again) in a generally accomplished and fairly enjoyable way though most appealing when the actual backing tracks featuring the original players were employed. This familiarity gives way to a jazzy soul feel that seems to work very well on 'Our Love' though this is a style I'm not overly enthused by - and it basically doesn't sound Jamaican or like reggae, for that matter.

I detect the hand and musical direction of Pablov Black in much of this production. Not a bad thing, but he could never fill the magical gloves of the aforementioned Jackie Mittoo. Obvious to my ears but perhaps not to others.

This is good stuff, but it is Studio One past its musical prime. Mittoo, Sibbles, Frater, Sylvan Morris etc. all gone.

Exception: Stand out track is 'A Change is Gonna Come'. A riddim that may have been done especially for Jennifer Lara (though I doubt it - I just don't know it from elsewhere) and it is over as soon as it began...clocking at 2:18!

I do have to wonder about the album cover photo - poor Jennifer Lara looks not like she is lovelorn but suffering from a case of gastric trouble and a bathroom break is urgently required. Unfortunate, because in previous years so many of the Studio One album covers were highly stylized and very cool indeed. Could just be the reproduction on this...

I mean no unkindness in this appraisal. Just my take on someone I should have known about before, but due perhaps to the quality of the material had no real need to hear. I enjoyed hearing it, but I'm not sure I will be listening to it much. I do find it very sad that Jennifer Lara passed on at the criminally young age of 52 a short few years ago and hope that whoever she has left behind will benefit in some way from her musical efforts.

There is so much more material from Studio One - so make your own mind up...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Eating Betty - On the Wire - BBC Radio Lancashire

A nice surprise today to find that 'New New Dub' was played by the legendary Steve Barker on the BBC 'On the Wire' radio programme on November 29, 2008.
Playlist and streaming audio here.
Direct link to the audio is here.
Nice one Steve!

And just look at the all star line up - OK then, here's the playlist:

Arthur Russell – Love is overtaking me – Audika Records
Juakali – Run Babylon – Foreign Familiar pre-release mp3
Abassi Allstars – Dub answer – Deep Root
Eating Betty – New new dub – ACEtone Studios
Dead J – Cold light – Modern Sky
Lena & the Free Roots Orchestra – Cheval vapeur – Plush
Marmur – Blackbird – pre-release mp3
Christina Carter – Original darkness – Kranky
Rodriquez – Sugar man – Light in the Attic lita
Al Green – You ought to be with me - Victor Entertainment
The Brothers Unconnected – Space Dragon Ogon – Abduction
Paavoharju – Sumuvirsi – Fonal Records
Kashiwa Daisuke – Stella – Midi Creative / Noble
Goldblade featuring Polystyrene - City of Christmas Ghosts -
The Wedding Present - Holly Jolly Hoolywood - Vibrant Records
The Peggy Lee Band - All I Really Want to - Drip Audio
calvin Party - 8 Days - Eli Records
Awesome Wells - I think I Just Heard teh Hens Applauding in the Hen-house - Red Deer Club
Abe Vigoda - Live-Long - Bella Union
Hot Drop - Tell Me Dub - A QuietBump
Joker + Rustie - Play Doe - Kapsize
Madtone - WP - Blossoms Kitchen
Pascal Comleade - Contre le Style - Because
Seeland - Call the Incrediable -lOAF
Francesco Giannico / Stefano Spataro - 4 Sonatas for electroacoustic thoughts - HysM

Audio on the mp3 is a bit murky so you'll just have to buy the album to hear it properly!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

New Review from Deutchland!

Much respect to my dear friend and occasional Big Shiny vocalist midsch for his review.

It is indeed a good feeling to know this release is being so warmly and enthusiastically received in so many places...Minnesota, China, France, Canada, England, Germany...

yea...humbled, warm and fuzzy...

Friday, November 21, 2008

WNYU Radio: 'Dub...Phrase not Found'

Looks like I'm living in the wrong town when New York University Radio's programme schedule does not include even one mention of the word 'Dub'! See very bottom of pic.

I just sent the program(me) director there a copy of 'Every Spoil A Dub' so I hope it doesn't confuse him/her too much! I'm sure someone on WNYU is playing some Reggae or Dub...just hope the CD reaches the right pair of ears.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

'Every Spoil A Dub' now available at!

OK, so now Amazon has the mp3s available for download - thankfully no longer 'discontinued'!

So go on and buy a few tracks! Or the whole album, or even all three albums!

Every Spoil a Dub at Amazon

Monday, November 17, 2008

'Love and Justice Dub' & 'Disunity Dub' on French Radio

Just received a package from Prince Thierry containing a CD of the 11/11/08 Dancehall Style radio show on Radio Mega in Bourg-Les-Valence, France.
You might be able to listen to a stream of this show - or some other one - (doesn't seem to work for me) here:

Anyway, here's the playlist. A couple of familiar tracks in the first two slots:

  1. Eating Betty - Love and Justice Dub
  2. Eating Betty - Disunity Dub
  3. Zion UK - So Hard
  4. Cocoa T - Barack Obama
  5. Mykal Rose - This is History
  6. Mavado - We Want Barack
  7. Perfect - 30 Pieces
  8. Perfect - Pedal and Push
  9. Clement Irie - Rebel
  10. Jah Weise/Singing Bayley - The Legendary Bob Marley
  11. Benaissa - Voodoo
  12. Benaissa - Coco Nut Water
  13. Sahra Indio - Ital Medi
  14. Various Artists - Morning Riddim Mix
  15. Benjammin - Mexican Bean
  16. Ranking Joe - How You Bad So
  17. Brother Culture - Talk to the People
  18. Ed Rome - The Way In, The Way Out
  19. Ft. Soom T. - Do You Really Know
  20. Cocoa T - Raw Moon
Big Up Prince Thierry for including Eating Betty on the show!

Eating Betty 'Every Spoil A Dub' now available from iTunes

That didn't take long at all - and here's the link:
Every Spoil A Dub - iTunes

So if iTunes is your preferred download service please buy the new album!

No sign of it being available on Amazon, a quick search shows that they still think it is 'discontinued'. See previous post on this.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dub Echoes gaining wide acclaim

I posted in March 2008 about this very interesting looking film on the subject of - what else? - but DUB. Looks like it is gaining traction and a DVD is due out in January. Can't wait to see it!

They also have a few new clips and entries about the various screenings thus far...

Still want to see Deep Roots, but it is very hard to get. Anyone know a way?

Dear Amazon, ACEtone Studio begs to differ!

Just thought I'd search to see if 'Every Spoil a Dub' has appeared on Amazon yet and here is what I found: Amazon clearly knows the album exists but until it get the tracks up on their download system it appears to be defaulting to this mindless search result. But this is just too much wrong information! Why not just 'currently unavailable on this website' or something less final sounding!
Who ever wrote that bit of code is a bumba clat!

ACEtone Studio can assure you that 'Every Spoil A Dub' is very much NOT 'discontinued' and is absolutely, undeniably available at:

Here is an extract from the very gratifying review (posted on by the great Dr. Strangedub (WKAI FM):

"Wow...what can you say? With the release of the 3rd Eating Betty album "Every Spoil A Dub" the bar has been raised again. Once again the sound is heavy-bottom dub with some rootical flavors, but in tradition of Tubby, Perry, Scientist and others, its the "chemist's" unique studio touch which makes this release standout... Like the often used, but still fitting analogy, it's like peeling the layers of an onion. There is not a single disappointing dub here... "

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Claymation philosophy?

This is worth a look any time but certainly in these times:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Eating Betty - new release - 'Every Spoil A Dub'

Here is the official announcement of the release of the new CD:

Dear Dub friends worldwide,

ACEtone Studio is pleased to announce the release of the new Dub collection

'Every Spoil A Dub'

featuring 11 tracks of pure unadulterated bass bin busting Dub.

CDs and full album 200kbps mp3 downloads are immediately available at:
(digital downloads from various online services - iTunes, Amazon, Napster, EMusic etc. - will also be available in the coming weeks) turn it up and let the walls crumble and the oppressors tumble...
and if you like what you hear, check 'Eating Betty In Dub' and 'Reverbalism' by Eating Betty also available from

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Every Spoil a Dub really actually finished...

...and here's the proof:
These olde worlde Cee Dees will be sent off to the distributor (CD Baby) tomorrow and hopefully by next week people will actually be able to buy one, or if they so choose download high quality mp3s from
Unfortunately it takes quite some time for digital tracks to show up on iTunes and the other digital distributors but it will happen eventually.
The next step will be to send promotional copies out to Radio DJs in various parts of the world in the hope that they can encourage some sales or at least some positive interest in this new release.
It would be so great to have less money worries, though I'm not holding my breath.

Every Spoil A Dub is indeed finished and ready for release

Doubtless, the world has waited with baited breath in anticipation of the new Eating Betty release and this one will not disappoint. It has it all. It even has some nice singing on it.
The cover design is as previously posted - the design department insisted it was good enough so I had to capitulate. There is more to do than agonize over silly album art. I absolutely can empathize with a musician trying to get the best possible mix for a track or the best possible guitar, bass or whatever part, but I have a hard time slowing down for tortured designers (including myself!).

While musicians may have been justifiably elevated from the status of mere juke joint entertainers and jingle manglers in the last half of the 20th century, the similar trajectory of graphic designers in that same time period is somewhat baffling to me, though I can see the logic in certain circumstances...but then there are many musicians who do not at all deserve their fame and fortune.

It is a funny old world and clearly the hustle and the flim flam are as much a part of it as ever they were.

Every Spoil A Dub is quite apart from all of that. A collection of tracks produced almost in isolation but with complete awareness of the world and the current affairs therein. This awareness, may or may not be evident. No way for me to tell.

Musically it is just a good heaping helping of DUB.

Perhaps the long awaited Buddy Hell and the Bleeders album will be next for release.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Every Spoil A Dub

While the financial world crumbles as it will from time to time and those of us who have nothing to begin with continue to have nothing, it is not unreasonable to heap scorn on those who have lost much. Fuck them. As to those who had some and are losing it all, you have my sympathy. Those who have more than anyone else to begin with...well...there is not enough of the negative stuff in this heart to do them justice. I just hope that there are people with a very great sense of justice working on that problem.

Humanity would be that much richer just being without a few of those around...

Every cloud has a David Essex.

And so, the new album is ready for launch.
Here is a draft of the cover. I just wish I could think of something. The design department appears to be on strike...

any ideas?

The track list is as follows:
1. Disunity Dub
2. Dub Invaders
3. Not an English Dub
4. Cyaan Get No Dub
5. Every Spoil A Dub
6. Love and Justice Dub
7. Live This Dub
8. Be Strong Dub
9. Goodness Dub
10. New New Dub
11. Need your Dub

Friday, September 19, 2008

Attention Bass Players: Flat Wound Strings

Dear Bass Players,

in recent years you have come to inhabit an entirely different world that once saw you as the guy who hangs out with musicians. (replaced by computers?) You have also seen and heard yourself playing guitar for a time and then just gone 'back to the bass'. This in itself is very much more important than how it is said. It really is not a relegation to a lesser art - it is a mission.

Guitarists are two a penny. I ate four of them last week and got a terrible stomach ache. There's a lesson to us all. Stop using cliches. And we really don't need that much of that kind of meat.

Glibness forthcoming...many of you...go on admit it...have been playing an er...some sort of bass...I'm not talking to the guys who have the money for the custom built Whatchamahooja neckless, stringless, wearable bass - I'm talking to the guys that just play bass - in a band or otherwise. A Mexican Fender, an Ibanez Gibson knock off, an unheard of before plank of wood with the worst action ever. Help is on the way! Well not really, but my encouragement and recommendation could make the bass much better for you.

Well you got it in the header anyway, but if you want proper bass sounds and a really
flexible sound - flat wound strings.
I do not know the history of bass strings but my inclination is to think that round wound were very much the rock thing, in the 60-70s rock ruled and flat wound diminished gradually.

Whatever. They are the dog's bollocks.

My friend and former band mate Brian let me have his 80s Suzuki Fender P Bass knock off and I had the same strings on it for years and years...and years. And it let me do what I wanted it to do with some effort and digital (both fingers and 1/0 adaptation) - I have recorded a lot with it. I love the feel of this bass and in the past through pure ignorance did not know what was missing:

Put the flat wound strings on it and it is a NEW BASS.

Regardless of sound (and this Suzuki has really crap pick ups) - it is all about the feel. Get a blister from these strings, believe me you will still want to play more from the feel of the strings. Very sensual. You are really playing bass, not a bass guitar.

Put on some flat wound strings and your bass will really FEEL like bass, not diminished guitar.

I love bass
flat wound strings are boss.

Drop D: what is up with that shit?

I consider myself a capable guitarist - capable of playing what I want to play to good effect in the works that I have produced and the performances to which I have subjected audiences. For me guitar tuning is: fat string first EADGBE. That's how I learned and it works for me. Self taught, obstinate, persistent. Yet I can't help noticing more and more (over the space of recent years) references to 'alternate tunings' and how the process of retuning your axe (man) can reveal new and great (and freakin' awesome) possibilities. Being a vaguely sentient guitarist, I filed all this away in my grey mush and generally just went about my guitar playing the old fashioned way, which suited me fine during this time.

Well! have I got news for myself! And anyone reading. If certain guitarists want to tune their guitars xyzabc that is fine with me but my experience with drop D today was horrible. I mean, like, talk about gnarly (in a bad way) - bad in a bad way - nu uh. No Drop D for me mutha fuckas.

Just play the fucking thing...

And, seriously, if you want to take music beyond what has been done before; away with melody, always march on with dischord and new harmonies the brain has yet to comprehend...well then fuck off.

I like a bit of melody. Don't mess with what people like.
Though admittedly, a lot of people like the original music computer Mozart and I find his stuff impossible to listen to. Give me Haydn. Or anything else. The delicate filagrees of a Lemmy bass solo might work at this moment.
Any dub recording too.

"So, Gustave, why don'tcha tune down your bass viol so it sounds like a dive bomber?"
"Sir, Maestro, I'm already kicking out as much bass shit as I can. But what you are referring to is anomolous in our time - they might discover us... "
"Yes, a lapse on my part. Ah...VU. The noise. Alas alack the retarded EQ. All I have is this twittering matrix of Mantiovani replays played by an army of robots who can barely wipe their noses never mind understand the feeling I want to bring to the music. But I'm such a twerp and a twit, I can barely sit still long enough to...who's she?...."

So, this all goes to illustrate something: Good writing is rare and this blog will defiantly do nothing to correct that - but while conservative in my guitar tuning views, I am otherwise very much in favour of new things being done in music, with music, for music, forever. But the caveat is that it needs to sound good - not to me necessarily - but whatever it is needs to have a receptive audience - not created by a marketing company.

Rambling again and unashamed.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Free Tracks at

...a couple of somewhat recent free downloads available at the real website:

Insane Invader Dub
This can only be described as an outtake of a track that has developed significantly since this glitch ridden abortive mix - yet there is something to it. Very much a 60's English sci-fi or horror vibe, which is fine by me. It sounds like the mix is being invaded by some sort of audio guzzling space bacteria...or something.

and this, which is entirely comprised of sound effects from 80s arcade games. For educational purposes only...this will not be released elsewhere...
Unit Test Failed Dub
A good laugh was had by all...

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Prince Alla - roots hero...

I don't really know what's going on in this video but it is good to see Keith Blake aka Prince Alla doing his thing with so much energy and the positive good humour for which he is renouned and respected. Raspect, Prince Alla - I will record with you one day, fate willing...

Here's is a Soul of Anbessa promo video that is a nice little tribute to Prince Alla at his home in Kingston. All still shots but the soundtrack is the Prince in excellent voice - refreshing and exciting to hear when so many of his contemporaries are either deceased or are no longer as able as he to sing so sweetly.

Now this just blew me away - the man is such a natural performer - I usually don't go for such improvised acoustic stuff, but this is exceptional:

I think this is a high point at which to stop. respect to the man and artist Prince Alla - a heavenly voice, vastly underrated and unfortunately not often enough recorded back in the day...

Gregory Isaacs & The Roots Radics The Tube 1983

I watched the Tube quite often back then and I don't remember this at all - I must have missed it. Well I haven't really missed it at all now have I because I just watched it. Interesting that the sound quality is quite good for a You Tube video. There is actually some bass happening.
Not the most compelling track on the 'Night Nurse' album by any means but nice to see Gregory and the Radics performing live in this video:

and just for contrast here is Gregory performing Slavemaster from the Rockers film. Nice suit:

The Incomparable Culture in the Studio

Nice tank-top there Joseph.
My admiration for the works of Joseph Hill only increases as time goes on. Sadly he passed on recently, bless him.

Clint Eastwood and General Saint with Roots Radics 1980 video

The sound quality on this is poor but the music picks up a bit as it progresses. I've known this riddim for a long time as a Scientist Dub on the 'Wins The World Cup' album (I think) - a nice spacey almost Kraftwerk-like riddim:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Huge Vinyl Archive Up for Grabs - only $3M!

Sir, may we please have a detailed inventory of your catalogue contents?
This is an awful lot of vinyl but you have to wonder how much of it is genuinely valuable. Clearly all of it should be archived and should find a safe fungus-free home, but it should also all be heard.
A setback here would be that though not available digitally in any form, most of it is under copyright and presumably pristine copies of each of those albums reside with the record companies that released them in the first place...

but, many of those record companies no longer exist and these in fact may be the only copies that have not been consigned to landfill or are not so damaged as to be unplayable.

So come on somebody. Buy the man's records. For our children and children who have children etc.

Seriously though, doesn't this pique your interest? All it would take is a syndicate of 3 million people giving one $ each to relieve Paul of his life's burden. OK that doesn't work...

sorry Paul you'll just have to give it all away and suffer terribly from your ailment. Lay off the diet soda, OK? It's as bad for you as the corn syrup shit...

I hope my facetiousness is taken in the best possible way.

Any ideas, anyone?
Can't seem to embed this so here's the link for as long as it lasts

Saturday, August 23, 2008

iDrum for iPhone and iPod Touch?

This looks like more fun than it has a right to be. An 808 in yer pocket anyone?
Still, until Apple opens up the iPhone to other phone companies besides AT&T there is no way I'll be getting one.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Respect to you Ronnie, the world is a poorer place without you

Ronnie Drew died a few days ago...instead of attempting to do the man justice in my own inadequate words I'll link a few vids of some of his best moments - of which there were many.

This one is not great audio or video quality but it really shows the mans humour and charisma:

this one I remember lucidly from the time - a rare reason to watch Top of the Pops!

One of my all time favourites:

This is bizarre (great song of course):

Here's one you can dance to even if you have no sense of rhythm...again...the Ronnie Drew charisma, wit and unmistakable vocal delivery:

there is no video for this one - just audio - caution! LOUD! This is a great song (Ronnie's voice is almost klaxon-like in its tone...excellent!):

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Russian rip-off digital distribution services

I just came across this story on Torrent Freak. They have the wrong end of the stick entirely on this issue. To the best of my knowledge these services are not paying the artists at all.

Eating Betty music is available from these services but they (mp3Skyline etc.) are not licensed to sell this music.

This is just pure badness.

Monday, August 18, 2008

New Prices for ACEtone CDs and downloads

Dear readers, via ACEtone Studio / ACEtone Records is offering Eating Betty in Dub, Reverbalism and Kratzen Fur Das Ebenleben at new affordable prices. This applies to both physical CDs and downloads (from - I have no control over iTunes et al).

I hope this encourages those of you who have been put off buying to put your hands in your pocket...


Eating Betty's 'Love and Justice Dub' on Echo Beach Dub Radio

Respect to the man they call Turntable Terrorist.
Here's the Echo Beach radio show from August 8 2008. And isn't it so sweet to be followed by Cornell Campbell's 'I 'art is Clean'? I am humbled...
...I just realised that the good TTT also headlined his show with the same track on the previous week. Nice!

so here's the August 1 show:

And here's the August 8 show with Eating Betty followed by the Mighty Gorgon...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Show Me Your Backside!

To give better praise and credit to DJ Frank's Voodoo Funk project I'm linking it here again.

Lots of surprising, unusual and gratifying images, mp3 downloads and generally vibrantly wonderful African vinyl rips...and the pic here and the subject are really red herrings. I'm sure I'll treat this greatness with more respect when time permits - but this is well nice for now...

In Search of African Vinyl

I don't know much about this film/music project apart for this trailer, but it looks to be intriguing and very enjoyable:

update: more here
and Frank has his own blog here:

Jamaica has still not been depleted of its vinyl musical treasures from decades past (the major difference being that in JA they are still repressing vinyl from original masters - in Africa this seems to be not the case), and it appears the time is right to save as much as possible of the vinyl output from the African nations - I would guess that the hot period for this Frank guy in the video would be the mid to late 60s and early to mid 70s. What I've heard from that time can be quite mind blowing.

The suggestion by Frank that that all western music comes from African music is a bit silly - but the fusion of existing folk songs, rhythms and melodies with imported funk and soul from the US and European pop that these African musicians made often transcended and in some ways improved on its influences. Reggae did more or less the same thing which is probably why I personally see and hear the parallel. And then some of it is just plain original and ground breaking (JA or Africa!)

Looking forward to the full length film whenever it turns up.
Looking at Frank's blog it is clear that the man is very much healthily obsessed with this music and I find the enthusiasm and the artwork for the albums and the sheer scale of his endeavour a great encouragement to hear more African music of the time.

Much to his credit Tom at Music Thing linked this video back in July. Thanks Tom.

Note: vinyl is apparently virtually indestructible certainly compared to tape or hard drives, so if you have anything nice and rare, hold on to it and look after it. And rip it (high quality) and share it...

These people are offering ringtones of the ACEtone Allstars - I don't think they should be doing this - even in the unlikely event that someone might want to pay for such a ringtone - how are they going to pay ACEtone Records? I have no agreement with them that I'm aware of but in these days of digital distribution it is possible that I overlooked their name in some agreement I made.
Being a 'beta' and pretty new it appears I have no aggreement with them about these ringtones for sale...

The ALLstars tracks are not yet with CDBaby or iTunes so I really have no idea how they think they are entitled to sell ringtones.

Note the fact that there is no way of contacting by e-mail and I don't think I really want to call here * to contest what is in principle important, but in the case of ACEtone Records, insignificant:

*Farbod Tojarieh
Copyright Agent
Project Playlist, Inc.
9300 Wilshire Blvd.,
Suite 200
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Or send a fax to the following address:

ATTN: Project Playlist Inc., Copyright Agent

Or by Phone:


I expect/suspect Farbod is not only the 'copyright agent' (whatever the f**k that means) but the webmaster and chief bottle washer too - the general factotum - the grand poobah of

The little that this bothers me is more because of the other good people playing on these tracks besides myself who might rightfully find fault with unauthorized ringtones of their musical efforts FOR SALE - when they have happily acquiesced to giving full tracks away for free at my instigation. Not quite right is it? Another skewed picture...

If Farbod would like to explain, I would be happy to hear from him.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dub the Old Way

It is very interesting to see this kind of thing - so, big up to BattleJam who has replicated and built upon the sounds and techniques of the greats - this guy has skilz - yes indeed. One thing though - a REAL bass line would improve this kind of stuff very much.
I would be happy to provide one when I get the new flat wound strings on the bass.

Enjoy this - it is actually very good - a spring reverb and a space echo would complete the picture.
I just love to feel a bit envious of people like this. I want your board man!

Never let us forget the Korean Dub konnection

nice drums...but is he really a Korean guy? Anyone? I know from personal experience that reggae and Dub are a big deal in Korea...your answers on a postcard...

Japro-Funk? Japonica don't really know what they are doing...

...but it's better than they think!
It goes on a bit but actually sounds way better than I would have expected:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Media Obsolescence

This story and variations on the theme crop up more often that is really necessary.
Strangely no mention of the mould that can get under the plastic on optical disks...or was that the hyped-up scourge of some three or so years ago (5, 6 years ago?)? Don't hear much about it these days.

A lot in this article is true and to the point but typically this commentator offers no suggestions for a solution. More of a jaded old gripe than a helpful article. We are at the mercy of this monster we have created. Help us oh prophets of ages past who had the good sense to make information permanent. Send another Moses, with the internet etched on tablets of hardest obsidian - carved into the stone by the hand of god his self, verily...

I do need to correct this oaf on one point. I bought a turntable just 5 or 6 years ago - specifically a DJ type turntable and believe it or not - it will play 78s - so the fact that this guy threw away 'valuable' 78s is preposterous. And if they were valuable he would have been able to sell them on e-bay. Perhaps they were just old 78s nobody wanted and not actually valuable at all.

That simplicity is threatened, even in the publishing industry. I recently completed a book, printed it and gave the manuscript to my agent. To give it to a publisher, she wanted it in a digital version, so I gave her a Word file. When she opened it on her computer, it was full of garbage characters. There had been some problem in the document conversions among several programs. I couldn't fix it.
Maaaan, is this guy a Luddite! And the publisher had no clue what she was doing. And why was he submitting a 'Word' file to a publisher?! 'there had been some problem in the document conversions among several programs' - how's that for technical jargon!!! Me no understand - If I were he, I'd be embarrassed to admit such unforgivable ignorance. Just ask someone who knows about these things before you go making an arse of yourself on the internet!!!

Really, people need to read the stuff they write before they publish. Or perhaps not - it is all ephemeral and no one will know 20 years from now that Russell Smith is a clod.

Monday, August 4, 2008

New Eating Betty track 'Love and Justice Dub 'pon di radio

At 19:42 minutes you can hear a new track titled 'Love and Justice Dub' from the forthcoming 'Every Spoil a Dub' album by Eating Betty - here -
Many thanks once again to Dr. Strangedub for his continuing support and for playing Eating Betty so often on his radio show 'The Echo Chamber' KFAI-FM (90.3 Minneapolis / 106.7 St.Paul, Minnesota.

Dr. Strangedub's myspace page
Archive of 'Echo Chamber Shows'
KFAI audio streams

Big up Dr. Strange Dub!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Scientist sets the record straight

Responding to allegations that he blew a music festival sound system, Scientist sets the record straight. In no uncertain terms!
This is interesting for various reasons - to me primarily because it sheds a lot of light on the kind of work that currently occupies this legendary Dub giant.
Good to know he is working away and showing the people how sound is supposed to be done.

Here is a pic of the legend in his yootful prime:

Is Cuil a hoax?
Certainly looks that way to me.
First clue: The claim that the word 'cuil' in Irish means knowledge is a red herring - or more precisely 'a trout of brownish colour' according to the Patrick S. Dineen dictionary. And brown trout is slang for...anyone? Two other meanings for 'cuil' from the same dictionary are 'a horse-fly, a gnat' and 'great eagerness'. The Irish language is baffling at the best of times!
With the fada the pronunciation is close to 'cool' but more precisely 'coo-ihl' - is this what they mean? It means 'a corner, nook'. Hence the goal area in ball games is referred to as 'an cuil', a goal keeper 'an cuil baire' (both 'u' and 'a' have a fada).
No definition of this word that I can find links it in any way to any meaning pertaining to knowledge. The only word I know in Irish for knowledge is 'eolas'. There are probably others but I doubt that 'cuil' with or without the fada is one of them.

I would be delighted if CEO Tom Costello or his missus Ms. Patterson could direct me to the source of his pet definition - and if it indeed it means what he says it does, I'll delete this post, humbly and happily.
Here are the relevant entries from the Dineen dictionary:

Second clue: Try doing a search. Lots of pages turn up in the search that do not exist, will not load. It does not find Google turns up several pages at the top of the list for the same search. It's a disaster.

In terms of functionality and the 'user experience' it leaves an awful lot to be desired. This choice of three (default) or two columns for viewing the search results confuses the eye (and mind). The results vertical 'list' used by every other search engine seems to work just fine. Why change it?
Using Firefox it functions well enough, however using Safari it just does not work at all well.

The home page is...well...corny. That picture of the standing stones is just so ridiculous. If this guy is really Irish, I'm surprised by this bit of jiggery pokery. Arra shur begorra, whares the feckin' Leprehaun, mar ya?

It may well be that is exactly what it says it is and is at present inchoate but will in time grow to be a useful tool. Until then Google rules whether we like it or not.
They shouldn't have announced this thing it is wasn't ready. And it is not ready.

Having read more on this since I first posted I think it is worth making an additional note on pronunciation:
'cuil' (with the fada on the u) is pronounced something like coo-ihl. Not 'cool' or 'kewl'
This is such a crock Brown gold? Brown trout all the way...and you know what that means...

Another point - may (or may not) have the $$$ and servers and requisite technology to do as they profess that they can do - but as yet cannot and do not - but what they seem to lack most of all is intelligence and ability to deliver. Is it really intended to be a dumb search with no filtering at all? Somehow, whatever happens when you do a search it seems to do the opposite of what they claim. This is a really amateur effort...or maybe, in fact - I'm a dumbass who doesn't know how to look for something. Now where did I put my keys...?
well let's see what happens when the money dries up and the strawberries and cream have turned to white castle burgers...

If it turns out to be 'something' after all, I'll be happy to see them succeed and will eat a hat made of foie gras and caviar, served on a bed of endive and drizzled with the sweat of Nibelung. On my budget, that is as likely to happen as lasting more than 6 be bought by someone who just wants them to be the f#%k out of the way with their interfering, bungling, nonsensical algorhythms!

You read it here - just now...yeah...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ah, the beauty of online customer reviews

No idea if this Jack Mehoff (har, har) actually even bought the product he reviewed. This is mean spirited, cruel and kind of funny...
And just in case you want to know what this is all about here the good ole Wackypedia entry

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A likka look inside legendary Tubby's studio

Nice, Nice, Nice! Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!

If you're any sort of a fan of DUB, this clip should quicken your pulse and gladden your heart. Not only do you get to see the inside of King Tubby's studio but there's also Prince Jammy mixing on Tubby's legendary customized board, Scientist (observing and later filling the studio with ganga fumes) and Bunny Lee dancing ecstatically. Oh, what a joy!

I had no idea footage like this exists but apparently there is a documentary out there somewhere called Deep Roots from which this clip is excerpted. Must seek it out. There are many more clips from the documentary...where else?...but on YouTube...
Watch, listen and enjoy...this wonderful stuff.

You can hear the vocal of the track (Junior Reid's 'Jailhouse Rock') being dubbed in this following clip. Never heard this before but I have a dub of it somewhere ('Harder Dub' on the Shining Dub album). The dub actually comes in about 3.50 in this clip. Which is basically what you were seeing and hearing in the preceding clip. More or less...

...and from the same documentary check this clip of Delroy Wilson voicing 'In A Dancing Mood' - Sweet!
But check out the 'vocal booth'. Rudimentary. But the fact that some of the very best roots music was voiced at King Tubby's and of course the incomparable dubs mixed there by Tubby himself, Jammy, Scientist and a few others prove without a doubt that it is not the equipment and the studio that matters so much as how you use these tools. Of course, being an actual engineer Tubby ensured that whatever studio equipment he employed was customized, calibrated and utilized to the best possible effect. No doubt the musical talent, personalities, vibes and herb play their hugely significant parts...


Friday, June 20, 2008

Anatomy of a Melodica - and repair

I unzipped my Melodica case last weekend expecting to honk out a fast and dirty dub solo line only to find that almost all of the keys were sticking rendering the incredibly economically priced instrument ($30.00) all but unplayable. That was the end of that recording session. Instead it was time to get busy with a screwdriver and see what was causing the problem - and perhaps more importantly to give you the reader a look inside. A picture gallery of the Melodica in various stages of deconstruction and repair can be found here.
The Melodica is a fascinating instrument the history of which can be found here, so there is little need for me to go into any great detail. Suffice it to say that this 'toy' instrument in the right hands and with the right production can produce transcendent music (Augustus Pablo) or in the wrong hands if left untreated by a pleasant wash of reverb and a nice delay can require surgical removal!

It didn't take very long to find that an adhesive foam material used for damping the keys when depressed was the source of the problem. I had no hesitation in removing the foam and discarding it. But that left me with a pile of keys looking strangely like a disorderly heap of pulled teeth. The reed frame of the melodica resembled a huge harmonica and the brass mounting plate and reeds were and still are surprisingly tarnished.

I packed everything away for a couple of days and intermittently pondered what I would use to replace the foam. Quickly enough I decided upon felt, purchased some fabric glue and got to work. It was actually quite a simple and painless operation, the most difficult part being the feeling of trepidation that it might not re-assemble quite correctly or would not play properly. Both doubts were quickly put to rest and the melodica once again plays perfectly.

During this process I sent an e-mail to Hohner, not to make a claim of any sort, but to politely inform them of the problem with the instrument. I received a reply the next day which was heartening but I was not thrilled with the response:

Since it is a mouthblown instrument , it does depend what goes into melodica when played. Very sticky saliva etc. can affect playing. If you like, please return melodica to Hohner Inc. at address below for inspection/correction.
Two problems with this assessment: The damping foam beneath the keys would not be affected by whatever is coming out of the player's mouth as this part of the instrument is separate from the air passage that allows breath to be channeled to the reeds. It is not saliva that enters the instrument when blown (well, not through normal use) - it is breath vapour, condensation, water which should not be any stickier than what comes out of the tap. Anyway, in fairness they did offer to inspect and correct, but frankly I was not willing to wait around for them to do this - and I really wanted to have a go at fixing it myself.

I have given Hohner two further updates on my progress and hopefully my efforts will encourage them to try a better damping material in their manufacturing process.

Friday, June 13, 2008

General Pompidou: DJ with the Rock Stone voice

I thought Prince Far I was the DJ with the Rock Stone voice but Pompidou seems to claim (to have claimed?) differently. Toasting over the Cornerstone Church of Music cut of Jackie Mittoo's 'Darker Shade of Black' here is General Pompidou. Never heard of him before...

Incidentally, the same riddim featured Frankie Paul singing 'Old Nigger'. I think I'm allowed to used the word in this context. A superior track by any measure.

Here's Pompidou / Pampidoo inna di dance over the Sleng Ting riddim - at one point doing a mean interpretation of a hedge trimmer!

No hits for Frankie Paul's vocal on the 'Darker Shade of Black'...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wild Search for a Definition of Dub

This is something you could easily have done yourself, but why don't you just sit back and relax and I save you a few mouse clicks...

This doesn't help much at all
It says somewhere that the Beatles were knighted...benighted more like...

This is more like it

The often wacky and out-of-whack meets our approval for the most part in their succinct definition:

Dub is a form of music which evolved out of reggae in the late 1960s. The dub sound consists predominantly of instrumental remixes of existing recordings and is achieved by significantly manipulating and reshaping the recordings, usually by removing the vocals from an existing music piece, emphasizing the drum and bass frequencies or 'riddim', adding extensive echo and reverb effects, and dubbing occasional snippets of lyrics from the original version.

The entry elaborates further, quite accurately, and then goes on to say:
'Dub' has become a term for almost any musical piece that "Utilizes the remixing of prerecorded sound as a mode of artistic expression." Taking the separate entities of a musical track and remixing them into a completely new selection has become a popular process, and can be found in a variety of genres ranging anywhere from hip-hop remixes and mash-ups to metal. Many listeners do not sense the Jamaican roots, and are unaware that this technique started with Jamaican rocksteady and reggae.
And in that paragraph lies the current dub dilemma as I perceive it. Is Dub just a studio technique or a musical genre (including the elements of particular rhythms and playing styles)? Answer me that? Let's see if this issue is addressed anywhere else...
I'll add to this if the mood takes me, but this is enough for now...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sons of Negus? (In the Event of a Power Cut) !

Not sure of the provenance of this video but it for me it amounts to a good reason to play more hand drums and get more of them, by hook or by crook and feel the good feeling of playing. Maybe I just need a night with the ACEtone ALLstars to give me the right kind of jollies!

Some may have difficulty interpreting what the man say - but for me the patter was very entertaining and lucid. No fools these. Note the bit where he decries all the electric instruments. Going too far perhaps, but a fair point when the power goes off. Hello! California fairly recently. Always have with you what will keep you musically alive in the event of a massive blackout. No TV. AGH! What will I do? It will be the choice of riddim and song that will define you in those testing times! I would suggest something by Delroy Wilson or Freddie McKay - or Prince Alla or...jus' some t'ing joyful where those gathered can easily harmonize or jus' sing along.

What Do I Not Understand About Videos of Records Playing on You Tube?

Can someone enlighten me about this phenomenon?
Every time I search for video of any reggae, Dub, rock steady and ska stuff I find heaps of videos of records turning on turntables with shite sound quality. Is this not absurd? I mean, the video quality comparatively is better than the audio quality. Is this not just a weird form of vanity being expressed by foolish people?

It really clutters the searches and crowds out the good video material. You know, cool stuff that people video taped from TV in the 70s, public domain stuff, amateur vids of significant people etc.

I suspect this is a circumvention of the ludicrous action taken by the search engines due to monumental force exerted on them by the mafRIAA and it's affiliates - so now that you can no longer search for audio using Google, Yahoo etc. (but there is always you can search for the video with audio attached. And if you know what you are doing you can rip the audio. But isn't this just a huge wast of time, disk space, effort? Especially if the audio is rubbish?

I'd like to link some cool stuff here and not have to waste time on this.
Comments please.
Excuse what I think is justified indignation.
Is there a suppository for this repository of shite?

One of the Most Enjoyable Ads I've Ever Seen!

So this is really just a big ad for VP records reissue project (launched in 2007 apparently) - they're a bit late in the game, but they have the masters and the rights so all encouragement to them. I hope they're doing a good job of remastering...
Nice to see Big Youth giving the 'VIP Tour'.
My recollection is that Randy's is now Carl's if indeed it still exists. When I was there in 2000 the Studio was devoid of any recording equipment and the walls were lined with 45s gathering dust, awaiting foreign vinyl collectors seeking a rare gem. The shop was still in operation as Carl's and incidentally Carl still likes to wax somewhat ineloquently on his cameo in 'Rockers'. One of the great things about Jamaica is that everything is still 'now' in some ways that is strange to the rest of us struggling to move forward, to progress (and I do meant to include Jamaicans who have left Jamaica in that statement too!). I can relate to it in many ways but I get itchy feet if the water starts to feel stagnant...

Carlton Barrett's Nephew 'pon drum

He's got all the licks and chops but in fairness to him he'd be better with a bassman keeping time with him. Nice to hear all the old rolls and hits played with enthusiasm by the youth.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Horace Andy recording session

This is fairly recent I think - not the greatest song ever but very interesting to see the recording session in Kingston in progress.
Note the allstar line up of Sly and Robbie, Sticky, Skully, Dougie Bryan, Ansell Collins. Sweet! No mention of which studio though.
Bonus Kingston street scenes too!

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad RIAA / Media Defender?

Reading this will give you a good idea about whether or not you should be personally concerned about the actions and lawsuits of the mafRIAA or Media Defender.

A take-down program begins with the RIAA's list of about 700 current, popular titles of recordings owned by its member companies. The list is compiled - and continually updated - from Billboard and online music services' sales charts. The user-litigation program uses many more titles, but the RIAA won't disclose the number.

If you don't listen to the crap that the major record labels peddle then there is little to be worried about. Anyway other reports strongly suggest that they are just as likely to mistakenly target someone who has never even touched a computer. That is more of a concern.

Also note this article where the methods of the RIAA and Media Defender and their ilk are shown to be highly suspect and obviously ineffective:
Study Reveals Reckless Anti-Piracy Antics May 2008, the team decided to repeat the tests, first to see if things had changed, and to discover if they could later implicate other IP’s, ’spoofing’ their presence. This time, there were almost 40% more DMCA notices, despite still not actually infringing copyright as claimed in the notices.

Tommy Mc Cook interview

This is very special:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Spanish - Reggae - Surf

the link is almost complete.
Bloody hell! check the finger blistering fretwork on this performance...
of course this chune is an oft adapted reggae staple. But of course you knew that, didn't you? If I could just find a Surf version I would be very happy...
It is pleasing to see that Wikipedia is ignorant of this composition. So what were the sisters at Alpha listening to and how did they get their hands on it? Don Drummond et al adapted melodies such as this and gave the world incredibly beautiful music - please comment...
Update: The Pyramids. Great surf band: Baja is their tune and no link can be found...too bad. I like it more...

Post Apocalyptic post modern 21st Century brain damage

oh dear, this is a headful. Fascinating but bewildering and this was probably 20 years ago. Everything has been done. Totalitarian DJ stylee here demonstrated by the plainly deranged Cutty Ranks. Now where is my coke...oh and if this was a political big up for Manley then it's no surprise the other guy (probably) won!

Holy mother of f#$k - it's Althea and Donna!

This is a real challenge in many ways! The backing chune is totally pimped up for pop TV and bears little resemblance to the excellent original Joe Gibbs/Professonals/ET production. Where is the bass? But at the same time, what a wonderful slice of a song in a certain time. They do a good job on the 'singing' and they have the khaki suit and t'ing. The hair, the glasses - spine tingling!
At the certain risk of sounding, nay being sexist, I'll take the one in the middle!

OK, that's it. I want one of these drums.

My bongos just aren't doing it for me. Here is the legendary Skully just doing what he has done on about a million reggae and Dub tracks. I want that drum (someone said it is a djembe-is it?), I want that amazing sense of rhythm! I want it all - but for now, let's watch a master at work - or should that be, at play as he effortlessly Rootifies the chune...

Michael Smith lip-syncing uncomfortably

This man had a big load of heavy patter on his mI cYaan bElieVe it album...listen

Mikey on the mic...not at the controls...

This is stuff I thought I would never see...but here it is...crucial:

Yellow like cheese!

This is surprisingly good! In the fine Jamaican tradition of monopolizing on unattractive looks and an underprivileged upbringing, Yellowman awes a captive Sunsplash crowd - well I think it is Sunsplash...good stuff

...and remember children, don't try this at home

and, did you know that Dub bass can extinguish naked flames? there's a name for a band!

Mighty Diamonds sweet roots riddim

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Is iTunes tariff putting the music buyer off?

Or even ripping them off?
ACEtone Studio is in the happy situation where every iTunes sale of an Eating Betty track (for example) yields ACEtone Studio 66c or thereabouts.
That goes to me. Nice. But don't get too excited. I don't sell very much!

But, major labels yield the same 66c (or thereabouts - don't know th e exact figure) and give the artist a pitiful microscopic royalty from that sale. Which they probably receive months after the actual download/sale.

So, good for me, but bad for the unfortunate music industry puppet performer.

In my case, I would be perfectly happy to sell downloads for way less. 50c or even 25c would be fine. Would Apple iTunes considere a tiered price scale?
They should give labels the choice of how much they want to sell the tracks for. Of course the major labels in their typical lack of wisdom would push for way higher prices. Personally I would rather see a greater number of track sales resulting in a greater return instead of the current rip-off price which I'm convinced is an impediment to the reluctant online buyer. They shouldn't really be charging more than $5.00 per album.

Friday, June 6, 2008

So that's What Baidu is all about!

there is more behind this than reported here I'm sure.

A huge number of the ACEtone downloads in particular of the the ACEtone ALLstars tracks is through Baidu and SoSo spiders.
The top hits in webstats are from these Chinese companies. I'm actually pretty happy with this because it means that lots of people in China are hearing the music I produce. Of course I would like to be paid for it, is good advertising...

Now the article does say this:

Baidu provides links only to music files stored on third-party servers. No music is stored on computers owned or controlled by Baidu.

Well, what's the problem? It doesn't say that they are hacking into any servers. Sounds to me like they are not doing anything wrong. Sounds even more like the major labels are trying to quash independent artists and make only major label music available globally, and at a price. It is my choice if I want to give this music away for free and Baidu and SoSo should be able to make it accessible as long as they are not breaking any laws. Baidu is a search engine. It is possible to find free downloads, free LEGAL downloads using this search engine. Can the record companies not understand that some things in life are free? What a jaded, cynical, stupid subspecies they are!

Here also is the Slashdot angle on the subject
where some comments get it right, wrong or just ridiculously misinformed.

and for some clarification here is the entry on Baidu

Here's and amusing commentary on the use of bad words on TV. FUCK!

there is so much hypocrisy about this issue it is incredible, but this ARS (e!) Technica article has an amusing take on it.

Paul McGuinness is at it again

Yeah, way to go Paul you big #%^$ing @%$hole
No way is this man the least bit concerned about the artists. The sooner musicians break free of their corporate bosses the better.
This guy should just shut the hell up.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Augustus Pablo live

This is really pretty impressive stuff - I never thought I actually see THE melodica man tinkling the Hohner plastic mini keys in this way - just look at the ease of execution - who is in the backing band?
They're playing Java too fast but still - very cool to see this:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Myspace Mars Planets Radio

This looks...well...interesting from a promotional standpoint at least. I've submitted Eating Betty, ACEtone ALLStars and Big Shiny for consideration. It will be amusing if I hear back from them.

Whatever it turns out like, I think it is good that people are trying to make some sense of the giant smoldering wreck that is mySpace. Why not have a myspace Radio? - why not before now, damnit? Why not several?

Recording Industry vs. the People

Recording Industry vs. the People's mission is to expose

...the RIAA's attempt to monopolize digital music by redefining copyright law, through the commencement of tens of thousands of extortionate lawsuits against ordinary working people.

They seem to be doing quite a good job of it too.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Copyright deal could toughen rules governing info on iPods, computers

This is pretty outrageous

The deal would create a international regulator that could turn border guards and other public security personnel into copyright police. The security officials would be charged with checking laptops, iPods and even cellular phones for content that "infringes" on copyright laws, such as ripped CDs and movies. The guards would also be responsible for determining what is infringing content and what is not.

Read that last line again! This is outrageous and there is nothing pretty about it. Actually it is really disturbing and should be to any reasonable person.

I can only imagine that those frequent travellers who wish to avoid this kind of scrutiny will opt to leave as much of their electronic equipment at home as possible.

I also see an increase in the sales of small, cheap laptops purchased expressly for travelling, which owners will keep free of anything that might interest the curiosity of the inspectors. Not quite disposable but not the end of the word if a $400-$500 laptop is confiscated (and destroyed!). From what I've read, these cheaper laptops have already been becoming more popular. The crap economy is probably the main reason but this sounds like another good reason to have an extra expendable portable computer.
Provided it can do e-mail, internet etc. one of these would serve well enough for average travel purposes.
Not much good for music producers/musicians though...

The iPod poses a conundrum. What about the mp3s ripped from CDs? They're claiming that this is an infringement of copyright! In which case, as the saying goes, 'no one is innocent'. where's the sense in that?

Just for the hell of it I suggest buying only what you actually need to survive for a month (food!). Stop being consumers. See if the corporations and their government henchmen can be hit where it hurts.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

KVR - Audio Plug-In news

I had forgotten about about this very useful site as recently ACEtone Studio's audio software needs have been pretty much satisfied.

But is it a great resource for finding free and cheap RTAS, AU and VST plug-ins, sequencers etc.

It is fun to browse around and see what's new or not so new and it is nice that there is no perceptible platform bias.

Of course there is less stuff out there for Mac (though increasingly more has become available in the past couple of years), and really not very much at all in the RTAS (ProTools compatible) category.

Eating Betty music now available from

Eating Betty albums, 'Eating Betty in Dub' and 'Reverbalism', are now available from's online digital distribution service.

ACEtone Studio doesn't decide the per track price, but at $0.99 it's the same as iTunes charges. To the best of my knowledge, all tracks are DRM free so you can buy and share as you so choose. File formats is .mp3, 256kbps. Should be pretty good.

Most popular ACEtone Studio downloads ever from all participating online distributors are Urgent Dub from Eating Betty in Dub and Black Noise Dub from Reverbalism, so you might want to check those first.

The much neglected but excellent Kratzen fur das Ebenleben by Big Shiny is also available from Mysteriously the per track price is $0.89. What a bargain! Files are also .mp3, 256kbps.

So, buy a few tracks and keep ACEtone Studio out of the red! And remember to share...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Crap (Annoying) Software?

Here's ZDNet's 'rogue's gallery of annoying software'

Here's ACEtone Studio's response:

1. Adobe Reader: Not a problem. You'll never need to use this software if you use OS X.
I do remember it being a stinking pile of shite when I was forced to use a windows box a few years ago.

2. Apple (?) - huh? Actually they're talking about Apple versions of software for Windows. Who cares? If you run OS X (any version) you can turn the software updater off permanently and if you so choose, run whatever version you like without ever updating it. No viruses, no update patches...

3. Windows Update: Again who cares? Just get a Mac or run Linux on a Brand X box.

4. Real Player: This has always been awful. Thankfully, so little audio or video requires it these days. Just use VLC for nearly everything. Real Player must be getting close to abandonware status...

5. Java: All problems described exclusively Windows so not much to say about this.

6. Yahoo: Never use it. Who in their right mind does?

7. Norton Anti-Virus: Anything Norton sucks. Machine crippling useless garbage. Thankfully not needed when using a Mac.

8. Pre-installed Software Bundles: Again, not an issue when running a Mac.

9. Outlook / Exchange: I don't remember it being too awful - maybe that was when there wasn't really an alternative. The MS bloatware equivalent for Mac is called Entourage. I tried it out a couple of times. I think it wanted to take over my e-mail activities in a hostile manner. I'll stick with OS X 'Mail' thanks.

10. Flash: More specifically Flash based websites. They got this one right.

A list of 10 is hardly very comprehensive and considering the fact that the article is strictly Windows I'm surprised Microsoft didn't feature more times. And why they gave a Vista a free pass might point more to the fact that there is too much wrong with it - not that there is nothing to complain about!

I would suggest MS Word as both annoying and crap but I'm conflicted by the fact that equivalent word processor programs I have tried suffer by either being worse than Word (how is that possible?) or by being just too unfamiliar/different to the user to comfortably make the change. And I think the differences are what make Open Office and Abi Word for example unattractive and not viable competitors. I wish it were otherwise. But Word is pretty awful. Yet it is the default word processor program for countless millions the world over. I cringe when I get a .doc as an attachment in an e-mail especially knowing that I'm probably the only person on the planet who has a problem with that.

Internet Explorer: I haven't used it for a few years, but bloody hell, any other browser is better! At times it can seem like no browser would be better!

In fairness, I'll let fly at Apple now:
iTunes: Really there is too much going on. It takes too long to load. It takes too many preference changes to stop it from littering your 'music' folder with copies of all kinds of stuff. They should really make it so that preferences can be set to only make available the things you want to be able to do.
I also dislike the fact that it is clunky when trying to input new tag information, and how it insists on auto-filling/predicting genres for example as if I needed help in this area.
It also does a really poor job of finding duplicates which can make for a lot of wasted disk space.

Spotlight: will it please not search for anything until I have typed all of the letters and hit 'return'? It is also an annoying blue color.

DVD Player: almost completely useless. Becomes region specific after first few uses and then will not play DVD media from another region. What if...oh why bother? Just use VLC.

iPhoto: similar to iTunes it over-manages your media, in this case images and video. Slow, annoying. One useful thing it can do is quickly generate web image galleries, so it is not all bad.

Audacity: This is free software. Why knock it? Because it doesn't recognize my Digidesign mBox. I'd love to use it, but there is no point. I must assume that it doesn't recognize many other audio interfaces, so the people who wrote the code can't be very interested in making their software popular. It is also annoying in that it writes everything to .ogg files. You need to export to other file formats. A lot of time wasting in this process.

Digidesign ProTools: I use this all the time. It's great. I love what it can do, but I have so many gripes with it I should start a separate post on the subject...

Blogger: Is absolutely crippled when using Safari. But of course there is no mention of this fact in the help section or elsewhere that I could find. Forced to use Firefox, which is sort of OK, but...

Firefox: I suspect that a major reason for the popularity of Firefox is the fact that it rescued millions of Windows victims from a life of squalid enslavement to Internet Expletive and all of the pop-ups, crashes, malware etc. that such a condition entailed. It can be really slow and asks too many damn questions.

A short list of other crap/annoying software: POMS, AS400, Lotus 123, Quark XPress, Windows Media Player...

Anyone else got any suggestions?

Queen of the Blues targetted by IRS

It is well known that the US tax system is skewed in favour of the the very wealthy and very strongly biased against the average taxpayer. It is also well known that the IRS seems to make a point of targetting celebrities.
The latest would appear to be Koko Taylor, so called Queen of the Blues - known for such songs as 'Wang Dang Doodle', 'Love You Like a Woman' and 'Tease Your Man'. Now, I must admit I knew very little about her before my interest was piqued by this:
This short article has a few details on the subject.

...the IRS says Taylor must pay $400,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest. Otherwise, she faces the possibility the G-men will grab most of her income, including royalties and Social Security, and maybe even her home. The feds rejected her offer to take out a reverse mortgage on that house and pay $200,000 plus up to 50% of any future net revenue, moves that would allow her to remain in her residence and live out her remaining time with her second husband.
I can't see why the IRS doesn't just take her offer. What sense is there is scapegoating an eighty year old woman who in a civilized society might be regarded as a cultural icon and treated accordingly? The people working on her case must feel very proud of themselves...

Here is the official Koko Taylor site. No mention here of the tax woes but then it is probably not something an artist wants publicized.

Here is the Koko Taylor MySpace page where you can hear a few tunes. It is indeed a hard pill to swallow...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Mindless Twaddle

This video is mindless twaddle.
If anybody can figure out exactly what they are getting at - or indeed in most cases who they are, be sure to let me know.
The 'Veronica' chicks seem to be trying hard, really hard to get a thought together between them and the one on the right is gagging for a Fosters and a quick shag...not interested, frankly you're all too shite...
Before we proceed - just watch it - does it mean anything or have a message? It is awful.
Well according to Torrent Freak this is part of an anti-piracy initiative. Can't really tell what they are getting at in the video, other than - attention seeking. Never heard of you, you don't look good on camera, what's your bleeding point mate?

Anyway, it is not all on the up and up and typically the AA group responsible for this vid has mislead people. Won't be the first time obviously.
Not my problem.

Friday, May 2, 2008

New York Times shamelessly gives MSG a big-up

I read this article a few weeks ago and was not terribly surprised that the 'gray hag' would stoop so low as to run a puff piece on a toxic food additive. I link it here only because it keeps on jumping back into my mind.
The Times has been thoroughly discredited in recent years so there is little point in digging any deeper.
The writer of the piece is either a fool or a shill - either way, having written for the New York Press in the past she clearly doesn't have a lot of credibility. Not much more to say about this.

MSG is bad for you...don't eat it.

Update: This article from the Guardian on the subject of MSG is much more balanced, open minded and well informed. NYT sucks!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Around the World in 20+ Dubs

Eating Betty was recently honoured to be included in the selections for this Echo Beach (WLUW-FM) / Echo Chamber (KFAI-FM) joint effort. Thanks to Dr. Strange Dub and Turntable Terrorist...
You can hear the audio here (part 1) and here (part 2 includes Eating Betty)
or you can see if these buttons work:
Part 2

Part 1

Playlist is as follows:

Artist – Track – Album – Label – Year (Time)
1. Around the World in Dub Intro – Turntable Terrorist – Unreleased – 2008 (2:02)
2. USA: Subatomic Sound System – TTT Mashup of "The Chronicles" (vocals by Treasure Don) & "It's the Heat" – Heat Brings Heat EP – Subatomic Sound (Digital Only Release) – 2007 (4:01)
3. Jamaica: King Chilla – Chilla's Theme – 7" release on Dub Voltage – 2007 (3:01)
4. Mexico: Bungalo Dub – Mr. Mad – Dub Attack – Invasion/7 Records – 2007 (4:16)
5. Brazil: Victor Rice – Sun of Dubday – Dubshine – SpitShine Records – 2007 (3:36)
6. South Africa: Moodphase 5 – Paradise Syndrome (DJ Dope & Farmer Brian dub version) – In Superdeluxe Mode – African Dope Records – 2003 (5:44)
7. Australia/UK: Trevor "The Technician" McKenzie – Someone Dub – Exclusive mix "The Echo Chamber" & "Echo Beach" – 2008 (5:47)
8. Thailand: Dub Familia – Look to the East – Before The Baby Born – Net Release available on iTunes – 2007 (6:16)
9. Japan: Likkle Mai – Your Love (Spotlight Mix) – EP - Lik' Daughter - 2006 (8:42)
10. India: Midival Punditz – Chandini Chowk – Asian Massive – Six Degrees Records – 2002 (6:14)
11. Israel: Blondub Sexy Sound – Heaven (featuring Mad Professor) – Exclusive unreleased track from the upcoming "God Bless The Empress" album – 2008 (3:36)
12. Turkey: Firuzaga Soundsystem – Tekli Dub – Self-released – 2007 (3:43)
13. Sardinia: Arrogalla – Nuis Dub (Boghes de Bagamundos remix) – Arrogalla – Arrogalla Music – 2007 (4:56)
14. Morocco: Dubosmium – Waragine A Ragine – Horizontal Plane Polar Dub – Fresh Poulpe Records (net label) – 2006 (5:17)
15. Spain: Hot Drop – Hotdrop Inna Dance (featuring Ranking Forrest) – Ready – LaFamille Records – 2007 (5:21)
16. France: Fedayi Pacha – Hayduk Bey – New Dub Excursion – Sounds Around – 2007 (4:53)
17. Austria: Makossa & Megablast – Rip It Up (featuring Ras T-Weed) – Kanuaka – G-Stone Records – 2007 (8:25)
18. Czech Republic: Hypnotix – Reasoning (Wintage Remix) – Selection One – Popron Music – 2005 (5:36)
19. Germany: Tokyo Tower – I Need My Dubflash – I Need My Dubflash Each and Every Day – Upcoming release on Mutan Records – 2008 (3:47)
20. Holland: Togetha Brotha Soundsystem – Jahovia Dub – The Way of the Sinner – Self released – 2008 (5:12)
21. England: Rob Smith – Corner Dub (Blue & Red mix) – RSD – 2007 (3:23)
22. Wales: Llwybr Llaethog – Fflio Dub – Mega Tidy – Rasal Records – 2005 (4:55)
23. Ireland: Eating Betty – Dubbin' 2 Hard – Net release available for free through - 2008 (4:14)
24. Canada: Dubmatix – War Inna Corner (featuring Ranking Joe) – Upcoming release on the new Irie Ites label - 2008 (3:45)
25. USA: The Drastics – Kevlar – Premonition – Jump Up! Records – 2005 (5:06)