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Archive for the 'Music' Category

Do I know you from somewhere?

Why do you leave me wanting more?
Why do all the things I say
Sound like the stupid things I’ve said before?

MadonnaSkin

Yes… I do listen to Madonna, and I have a perfectly good reason for it. When I read the 3 books of Lord of The Rings, a colleague had borrowed me Ray of Light by Madonna, and besides being a good album (really different from anything else she has done), I always link the musics from this album to passages of the LOTR book, which feels kind of magical to me.

I know I have been quiet for a while, so now I am going to give you a BIG entry (will talk about work, some stuff I bought, music, new albums coming out, gymnasium, and I think that’s about it). Not some usual rant, just some facts. It’s lots of stuff, so bear with me.

This first item, is about my job. I didn’t want to put this news in here, because it will become public eventually (perhaps in December?). Like, I’d say, many of you already know, me and my work colleagues get evaluated twice a year by someone who out ranks us. This year I got two good news! 🙂

  • got EXCEPTIONAL on my evaluation
  • I am going to be promoted in January (IIRC) to Project Manager

Though I was already wondering that my promotion was due, I wasn’t really expecting that grade on my evaluation, because I think I would’ve deserved it much more on the previous evaluation, but no harm, no foul! Of course now I am proud of this achievement, and want everyone to call me André Ventura EXCEPTIONAL Lemos, but I don’t think that will work. I am also really very glad that on “technical skillz” I got EXCEPTIONAL, with a remark saying that this is my strongest point! *YAY*

The EXCEPTIONAL (yes… upper case all the way), means that I’m receiving a fatter bonus, and everyone at Critical will know that I got this grade.

The promotion, well… It means a salary increase and a very nice word for my curriculum vitae.

Oh… I also got my new cell phone from work. I chose a Nokia E50, that I am loving so far! PHONE LIKE FORM FACTOR (how unusual these days), very small, very light, Symbian OS, really huge battery life, so I’m happy). I know that E51 is out, but I don’t care.

See how thin it is (no, it’s not my hand):

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So… More news.. Let’s see….

Today I have bought the whole Zero 7 discography. I was at FNAC just browsing along when I noticed the The Garden album that looks real pretty! And I’ve thought to myself, well, I already have this album, I’ve downloaded it from the Internet, but I like Zero 7 so much, that I should really support them! So I went and bought their 3 albums:

I honestly think they deserve my money because I love all of their albums, and I’ll be doing this for other artists (not the whole discography of course), like Charlotte Gainsbourg (I have already bought 5:55, but it was a gift for my Auntie T), Natalie Walker, etc.

I also advise you to buy the DVD set Völkerball by Rammstein. I think I’ll get it myself. It has all the songs I love from Rammstein, on a live concert.

While at FNAC, I’ve decided to also buy some new headphones, because I honestly think that the ones that come with the iPod just don’t cut it! Since I already knew which ones to buy, I went straight for the kill, and bought me these Sennheiser CX 300 headphones:

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I already knew what to buy, because I have read so many good stuff about them in so many places, specially because of their ear-canal design (that’s why they look funny).

What are in-ear-canal headphones? Unlike standard headphones, which use relatively large drivers (speakers) and fit on top of or around your ears, or earbuds, which use fairly small drivers and sit loosely in your outer ears, in-ear-canal headphones use very small drivers and actually fit inside your ear canals (thus the name canalphones). In fact, using either rubber eartips in various sizes, or foam eartips that expand to fit any size ear canal, canalphones are designed to seal your ear canals closed, blocking external noise—much like a pair of earplugs. In fact, many canalphones look and fit just like earplugs.

Taken from playlistmag.com

Couldn’t have described them better. You can see on the above photo 4 more rubber pieces. Those are used the replace the ones already on the headphone’s tips so they can fit comfortably inside your ear-canal.

Advantages:

  • really great sound quality
  • music doesn’t have to be so loud
  • very comfortable, and won’t fall off easily

Disadvantages:

  • since all the outside is so isolated, you can even hear anything rubbing on the headphones cable if you’re concentrated
  • you feel like your ear is being anal probed when you put them (though after it’s really comfortable)
  • I might fall asleep with them because I can lie in bed with my cheek on the pillow without them hurting me (thanks DAD for the DNA)

You can see things this way: Regular headphones are like a person shouting to you from a distance, while in-ear-canal headphones are like a person whispering to you in your ear. Well… Sort of…

So after I got home with my new headphones, and three new albums, I’ve decided to rip them so I could store them with a much better quality, and so I could listen to them on my iPod.

Better quality… So what do I mean by that? Should I rip the albums with a lossless format? Nah.. That would be just a bit too much, and then I wouldn’t be able to hear the musics on the iPod, so I’ve ripped them using LAME with a VBR and Joint Stereo.

What does that mean? Well… If you’re not in the mood to follow the links and read up, I’ll try to explain this real simple.

VBR: Your MP3 has a bit rate (128 kbps, 190 kbps, etc…), which define the quality of the sound, and of course, the space it will occupy on your hard drive. With VBR, instead of having ONE bit rate for an entire track, you’ll have a variable bit rate throughout the track, depending on weather the sound being played benefits from it, or not. So better, will sound better, and worst won’t try to sound like it is better. Got it? *shrug* The process is really cool. While LAME rips the track, you can see a bar chart showing you what’s the rate being used on that particular frame of the track, so it was really cool to watch the ripping process of Radio-Activity by Kraftwerk. I really felt geeky! Long story short, I had some frames going all the way to 320 kbps (crazy sound quality, I don’t think a human can tell a difference that high), and 32 kbps (prolly during sound gaps).

Joint Stereo: When your LEFT channel and RIGHT channel have exactly the same sound, they get mixed together, so that the same sound can be reproduced with less information (and less space).

there.

So after doing that, I started ripping all of my CDs collection using the same standard (The Fat of The Land by The Prodigy is being ripped as we speak).

OH OH OH OH And FYI, She Wants Revenge have a new album called This Is Forever! OH OH OH OH And FYI, Goldfrapp are going to release a new album on the 25th of February called Seventh Tree.

So… What else can I talk to you about… (you got THIS far? If you have, put a comment below, because else I won’t believe you :P).

School is doing fine, but if I fail my exams, I’ll just run away and start a new life in Holland or Mozambique, or whatever. Useless crap. I learn more in 5 minutes at work, than in 24 hours of school. *SIGH*

Oh… And went to the gymnasium today, and rowed for 2 Km with a difficulty level of 8 (the maximum is 10, and to simulate a rowing boat, it would be a 2/3), biked for 15 minutes (about 5Km IIRC), and did some push ups on the machines, as well as some abs work.

posted by André Lemos in Me,Music,Studies,Work and have Comments (8)

Recommended music – 22/Oct/2007

Sérgio GodinhoNo Circo Monteiro Nunca Chove

LadytronBlue Jeans

Zero 7Waiting to Die

LampshadeClean

RammsteinLos

Silje NergaardTheres Always A First Time

Duran DuranWant You More!

SpiritualizedLay It Down

Télépopmusik Breathe

José GonzálezFold

posted by André Lemos in Music and have No Comments

Recommended music – 15/Oct/2007

Almost forgot the recommended music 🙂

Federico AubeleDiario De Viaje

Charlotte GainsbourgLittle Monsters

Sérgio GodinhoSó Neste País

MetallicaWhere the Wild Things Are

Junior BoysSo This is Goodbye

Natalie WalkerColorblind

LadytronFlicking Your Switch

OasisGuess God Thinks I’m Abel

Vashti BunyanIf I Were

Cansei de Ser SexyArt Bitch

posted by André Lemos in Music and have No Comments

1:02

So… It’s 1:02, and I’ve been up since 7:30.

This was a hectic last week indeed.

Started classes again, so I have a slightly different schedule. Most of the days for me now are like this:

  • Wake up at 7:30
  • Arrive at Critical at 8:20
  • Have lunch at Critical’s premises at 12:30
  • Leave at 17:00
  • Have classes until 23:30
  • Sleep listening to music at 00:30

Anyways… Bought an FM transmitter for the iPod, the sound quality wasn’t all that good, returned it.

The iPod is really nice. I am currently with it on my lap, listening to Pj Harvey – No Girl So Sweet, so yeah… I take it everywhere with me.

Got some photos developed from my Yashica GTN, so now I’ll try to post some photos from that batch (one per post), so here’s the first:

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Just did a quick scan with vuescan and dumped a DNG file with about 26.7MB, and so there you have it. It is crazy difficult to have burned highlights, or to lose details on the shadows, so YAY film. That’s my auntie T on the photo, btw. Oh. And the film was an Ilford 400.

Tomorrow (today) I will be meeting with Tiago in my place at about 9:30 so we can study a bit. After that, we will have lunch and then head out for the gym. I can take someone else with me, so it’s all good. It’s much better doing it with someone else than alone. The good news, is that it is starting to show. I’m getting some more abs *nod* 🙂

Tomorrow (today) I should also pick up my new eye glasses and contact lenses. We’ll see how that goes…

And on Sunday, perhaps I’ll go to OPorto. We’ll see…

Oh… And congrats to Marisa Duque for her Daily Deviation.

So that’s it for me. Tired, sleepy and honestly kind of depressed. *shrug*

posted by André Lemos in Chat,Family,Me,Music,Photography,Studies and have Comment (1)

Black 160Gb Classic iPod

As I said on the Very long day post, I’ve decided to buy an iPod. Why an iPod? Because other brands don’t reach as easily to the 80Gb mark. I currently have a bit more than 20Gb of mp3, so I wanted to have lots of spare room so my collection could grow, and of course, I wanted to have it with me all the time.

Although when I called they’d always tell me that there was none available, yesterday when I went with my father to FNAC, I saw one for sale. I asked the salesman if they had the 80Gb model, but they didn’t, so I took the last 160Gb black one.

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The next steps are:

  • get some better phones, the default ones kind of suck bass wise
  • get one of those FM transmitters so I can hear the iPod on my car’s radio
  • get one armband so I can take it to the gymnasium
posted by André Lemos in Music and have Comments (4)

New Goldfrapp Album News!

Ahoy there mateys

Just to let you know that we haven’t forgotten about you…

News has reached these parts that after months of beavering away in studios from the West Country to the West Coast, and having returned from their recent stint in LA LA land, Alison and Will are in the UK putting the finishing touches to the album this week.

As yet untitled (so keep those suggestions coming), it will be rearing its antlers early next year…

Keep logged on to the website www.goldfrapp.com for more news in the coming weeks, and perhaps a few tasters for you… if you behave yourselves…

That is all for now. More news soon.

Tally ho

The Deer
Xx

cool!

posted by André Lemos in Music and have No Comments

Recommended music – 01/Oct/2007

Nine Inch NailsEvery Day Is Exactly the Same

Rage Against the MachineTake the Power Back

RöyksoppRemind Me

Blind ZeroShine On

Emilie SimonMy Old Friend

ManzanitaArranca

BlurCharmless Man

AudioslaveSet It Off

GarbageIt’s All Over but the Crying

Duran Duran(Reach Up for the) Sunrise

posted by André Lemos in Music and have Comment (1)

One more step towards Googleplex!

Well yeah…

After all the good news, it was time for the lunch break (Critical puts together a lunch every month to get everyone together from every site in Coimbra, on the headquarters), and while there, we were presented with some new stuff:

  • two foosball tables
  • one ping pong table
  • one pool table
  • two really neat bicycles with shock absorbers on the front wheel! w00t!

And to top that, I’m going to see Sérgio Godinho live in Coimbra with my mom (Critical will pay for 50% of the tickets) 🙂

posted by André Lemos in Music,Work and have Comments (2)

Recommended music – 24/Sept/2007 und Car und Werk :B

Elis ReginaUpa neguinho

AudioslaveJewel of the Summertime

JamiroquaiWorld That He Wants

Pink MartiniSymphatique

José CidO Caos

Nat King ColeUnforgettable

AntiloopStart Rockin’

Natalie ImbrugliaBig Mistake

MadonnaLittle Star

GoldfrappPaper Bag

AND:

Peugeot offered me, free of charge, brand new rear shock absorbers and ball bearings, just because I was complaining of some rear noise! w00t!!

Critical will from now on give me 120€ worth of gas every month 🙂

posted by André Lemos in Car,Music,Work and have No Comments

Recommended music – 17/Sept/2007

Cansei de Ser SexyOff The Hook

Natalie WalkerQuicksand

Charlotte GainsbourgBeauty Mark

Groove ArmadaSong 4 Mutya (Out of Control)

Maria RitaA Festa

Foo FightersDOA

MicatoneShake it Baby

Zero 7In The Waiting Line

Jamie Cullum  – 21st Century Kid

AirHighschool Lover

On a totally unrelated matter, there is a program that records streams from last.fm

Have fun ^^

posted by André Lemos in Music,Software and have No Comments