Archive: November 2008

NUMBER GIRL live DVD, MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS mini-album arrive in January

NUMBER GIRL’s appearance on the Fuji TV show Factory is headed to DVD, according to the most recent e-mail I received from CD Japan. It comes out on Jan. 21. Is there anything really left to release after the massive OMOIDE IN MY HEAD anniversary campaign from 2005?

NUMBER GIRL’s former bassist Nakao Kentaro also co-produced the forthcoming mini-album by MASS OF THE FERMENTING DREGS. The CD Japan e-mail didn’t have a title, according to the band’s official site, it’s titled World Is Yours and has six tracks clocking in at 22 minutes.

On the playlist, or rally in the fourth

The second and third quarters of 2008 seemed to give up the proverbial ghost, but then the release schedule ramped up, and I managed to stumble across a few discoveries. As a result, I’ve got a lot playing right now, and I’m impressed with a lot of it. Not all of it, but a lot of it.

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Lala web albums, Nov. 2008

Before I get around to writing a more detailed review about my Lala.com user experience, I just wanted to jot down the purchases I made from the site. Lala is unique in the way it allows listeners to put a down payment on a song or album, allowing them to listen online. If you want to download, you pony up the balance. The site even offers a test drive — the first listen is free.

I like this idea. It’s better than tossing random things in a queue, just to burn through a quota, as I did last night on eMusic. Thank goodness Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea turned out to be a lucky grab.

For my inaugural Lala investment, I paid $15, which is equivalent to my current eMusic subscription level. So far, I’ve bought only "web albums", to which I can listen online. I may need a few more spins before I commit to a purchase. With the way I’ve been watching my pennies recently, it may take a while.

Here’s what I’ve bought, organized by familiarity:

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Release news round-up: GO!GO!7188, BONNIE PINK, LEO Imai

Since I’ve been neglecting this site these last two weeks, a number of release items went unreported.

  • GO!GO!7188 releases a new album titled Antenna on Feb. 4. I doubt it’s a full cover of Quruli’s album from 2004. The album contains 12 songs, with the single "Futashikatashika" preceding the release on Jan. 14.
  • BONNIE PINK has been keeping busy. She has a song, "Try Me Out", being featured in a new commercial for Attenir Cosmetics, and on Dec. 13, she performs at Billboard Live in Tokyo. Fans who buy the special edition of her upcoming Christmas EP CHAIN can win a ticket to the event, but only a limited number will be available. CHAIN hits stores on Nov. 26. BONNIE PINK is also collaborating with UK R&B artist Craig David on the track "All the Way", which is included as a bonus on the Japanese release of David’s Greatest Hits. The compilation is also being release on Nov. 26.
  • LEO Imai releases his next single, "Synchronize", on Jan. 28. Imai’s previous single, "Taxi", was released in July 2008.
  • Tommy heavenly6 has a new song featured on the anime Kidou Senshi Gundam 00 titled "Unlimited Sky". There are no plans for a single release yet.
  • Other December releases include a collaboration single between Yaida Hitomi and Odu Kazumasa titled "Koi Bus" on Dec. 3, while Van Tomiko’s second non-cover album, Van., gets a Dec. 10 release date.

Is so goss she

The title of this post is a bastardized pronunciation of isogashii (いそがしい), which means "busy" in Japanese. This time, it’s shigoto (仕事, work) in the jimusho (事務所, office) that’s eating up my jikan (時間, time). All my web projects are built upon a very loose PHP framework I’ve built over the last five or so, eight if you count the years I was building things haphazardly.

Although I’ve managed to build a lot of applications quickly with my self-rolled framework, I’ve gotten really tired of maintaining it. The idea of hacking through that code fills me up with such dread, I end up doing nothing.

About two weeks ago, I decided to try out some established frameworks to see how fast I could port an existing application. I picked CodeIgniter because it seemed lightweight and versatile enough for such a task, and I was incredibly encouraged when I got a registration and profile system done in a few days.

So I’ve spent my work days actually, well, working, and it’s unexpectedly cut into blogging time. The release schedule is also ramping up these next two weeks, and I may as well wait till they’re done before I start writing again. So I’ll be busy with code while the stores stock up on their Guns N’ Roses, Shiina Ringo and Killers.

After the holidays, I’ll see how much my playlists have bloated.

In search of the perfect paid preview service, overture

For a person who does most of his listening on a software media player, I have not adopted the ala carte model of digital downloading. As I’ve expounded before, the labels want people to purchase the same content on multiple formats, and I don’t want to drop cash on a format which can essentially be derived from an existing one.

In short, why would I pay for a bunch of files, when I can create them myself and have a backup at the same time?

The economics of such a practice, however, are becoming increasingly moot. CDs haven’t come down in price — at least anything not on Universal Music — and if the only place in which I’ll spin a disc is my car, is it really worth the investment? I’m also going to start addressing some personal finance issues, which makes buying CDs seem extravagant.

CDs are so in trouble if ever I get around to connecting my iPod to the car stereo. (It’s an old factory unit not equipped to connect by default.)

In the years since paid digital downloads have become something of a norm, I’ve developed certain … perceptions about digital formats. I’ll own an album only as digital files if I don’t like it enough to get a CD. The digital file, in essence, becomes the preview copy that may eventually become a full-fledged purchase.

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New singles from UA, Tommy heavenly6 arrive in December

These bits of news are a few weeks old, but I may as well mention them. Tommy heavenly6 is set to release a new single on Dec. 10, and UA follows a week later with her own single on Dec. 17.

Bounce.com reports the new Tommy heavenly6 single, titled "PAPERMOON", serves as the opening theme for the anime Soul Eater, and it will have a limited edition first pressing with a promo clip DVD. The single’s coupling songs have yet to be determined.

CD Japan sent an e-mail informing me about the new UA single, which seems to be titled "2008". The online retailer states, "New single release from UA who had her second baby featuring songs to children of the future." Congratulations to UA!