Category Archives: Whistle While You Work

Sounds Amazing!

Mike and I seldom see a movie in a theatre, except for movies that are supposedly best seen on widescreen, like 300. Add to that, movies tickets, which are much higher on weekends, cost us $10 each. So we always end up buying DVDs instead and enjoying films at our own leisure, with popcorn straight from the microwave oven and soda from Cold Storage. Yep, we are cheapskates hee hee. But we do buy original DVDs.

It has become our Saturday ritual to drop by HMV and see if there are new titles out. We grab a few we could watch that night. After which, we’ll talk about how the movie could have sounded better with a proper home theatre system. The next day we’ll be out in an audio store and Mike will be checking every speaker set and like a little boy, he’ll look at me as if saying, “can we take that one home with us, puh-leeez”. So after lots of rationalising and justification, I signed on the dotted line and got him a Harman Kardon Symphony home theatre system for his birthday. Damage to credit card: Ay caramba! Expression on Mike’s face: Priceless.

The audio guys delivered it in a few days and hooked it up with the DVD player, cable box, and tv set. 4 tower speakers, 1 front speaker, 1 subwoofer and an AVR. (Harman Kardon, Mike says, is a good brand. And from my little knowledge and 2 year personal experience with my simple HK Soundsticks, I have to agree.) The audio guy tested out Babel on it. It was amazing hearing the sounds from the speaker system, every little detail comes out crisp and clear. Well, for the price we got it, I’m expecting to be blown away. And blow us away it did. We jumped when the sound of a gun being fired (in the film) blasted through the subwoofer. Awesome!
So there it is in our living room, fitting in nicely with the rest of the stuff at home. American Idol contestants sound so much better through it and you can literally feel every heart-pounding minute of 24 and Prison Break. Funny though, lately we’ve been too busy to watch a movie with the home theatre system we’ve always wanted. Now that sounds awful.


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Getting Back My Mojo

I’m talking about the magazine, of course. Mojo. Brit music mag. Sure most music fans have heard of it. What can I say, I love that mag. Not only have they got all the latest in music, as most decent mmojo.jpgags should, they’ve got free music on cd too. Neat huh. Having bought one just recently, it’s surely taking me out of this music rut I’m in, you know, listening to the same old stuff over and over again. How many times can you listen to Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars? According to my iTunes play count, 397.

So now it’s back to mp3 music downloading binges, watching Live on Abbey Road and Jools Holland reruns on BBC. And yes, MTV. There’s so much fantastic, mind-blowing new music waiting to be heard! It also helps that one of my bestest girl friends, Cynthia, gave me and Mike a cd called Finally Woken. She also got me into iLike, a music lovers’ network, similar to I took the music challenge there and “ai-yoh!”, as the locals would say, I don’t know half of the songs I’m supposed to guess. The ones I answered correctly were those from years back and if I do know the latest ones, those would be songs by Beyonce. Double “ai-yoh!” there. Wouldn’t be surprised if I guessed all the ABBA songs, which by the way, is one of my guilty pleasures, ha ha.

Well, enough is enough. Over the weekend was emusic and mp3Sparks day. Yeah no limewire for me, big brother is watching so I download from these 2 music providers (one advertised in Mojo and the other I just stumbled on google, with music all the way from Russia!). Anyhoo, with account balance replenished, my current stash now includes: Richard Ashcroft – the guy from The Verve, Arctic Monkeys – cool mod dudes from Sheffield, Matisyahu – a Jewish reggae act, Mika – an Eddie Mercury soundalike with a groovy tune called Grace Kelly, and Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack 1 & 2 – it’s got loads of great tunes from pop alternative and indie bands. Next on my list would be Rodrigo & Gabriela, probably a dose of Radiohead (okay it’s not quite “current” anymore but still great music), Kings of Leon, We Are Scientists, Cherry Ghost, Modest Mouse, Dusty Trails, Tori Amos, The Beautiful South, etc. etc. Yep, that’s the music mojo working. Now I need more moolah.

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OK Go!

If you’re tired of your old treadmill routine, here’s something to try. Apparently it only took these guys 8 days to perfect the moves.

Love the choreography. It surely beats jogging or brisk walking. Might make me hit the gym again. Heehee.

Great music too.

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Wock n’ Woll Wabbit

When I was in college, a very patient first cousin of mine made it his mission to teach me how to play the guitar. He himself just learned to play it, passed on the guitar to me and moved on to bass guitar. I think his motivation for teaching me, apart from making me a well-rounded individual, was simgp6373.JPGo that I could be background rhythm guitar to his bass. Oh I was fast learner, I learned the chords and grew calluses on my fingertips in no time. It hurt a lot, what with steels strings to work with, but it felt good to actually be able to play music and jam with my cousin. I played every tune I found in chord books, you know those called songhits and jingle. Our favourite was Jingle’s 60’s Hits which had hundreds of songs from one of my favourite music eras. It had everthing from the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Dave Clark Five, Herman’s Hermits, the Beatles, and yes, Matt Monro, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Petula Clark and the Platters. I played and played and played even as the guitar went out of tune. That’s when I realised, I might been tone-deaf. Hee. Thankfully, my cousin was always there to put it back in tune. But we lost track of each other…That was also the end of my dream to be a rock star. Sigh.
And then, just very recently, I decided to start playing again and found out I had unlearnt everything! So after more than 15 years, I’m back to beginner guitar. Although, I noticed my fingers are not as flexible as they used to be. Holding a chord for several beats makes them as stiff as twigs. Nevertheless, that’s not stopping me from playing Colin Hay’s acoustic version of Overkill. Hearing him play that tune in one Scrubs episode was inspiring if not frustrating. I’m learning his other tunes as well, like My Brilliant Feat and Waiting For My Real Life to Begin, and Guided by Voices’ Hold on Hope. Very ambitious, I know. My versions are far from perfect, I tell you, I can make a guitar weep on account of my bad playing. Further proof that I was not really meant to be a rock star. And to think my hubby’s even planning to buy me an acoustic amplifier. For what? To amp my lack of skill even more? Hee hee. Ah well, Who am I kidding? Playing to a captive audience of one is enough. Must remember to buy him earplugs.

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