Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My first pillion rider

This weekend I had my first pillion rider, my girlfriend. The handling was a bit tough at first, especially at very low speeds, and I felt that balance was really affected. So basically I need to really practice cruising with a pillion. In the meantime please enjoy my first cruising video clip. It's quite short, but I intend to take short frequent clips whenever I go cruising so you get an idea of the fun in riding a motorcycle especially during a sunday afternoon :)

Friday, February 23, 2007

Streaming Virgin Radio to the workmates

Few hours after I wrote the post about Virgin Radio Classic Rock, I was contacted by the digital media director of Virgin Radio himself, to thank me for the 'advert'! This encouraged me to propagate this internet radio even at work....however I don't want the boss to be angry with me for congesting the whole broadband network so with the help of my friend I'm locally streaming it (the exact term is unicasting) from my laptop to the local area network - this way, only I am accessing the broadband to access the stream, whereas the workmates are using the local network to listen to the stream.

Actually the whole process is very easy. Download VLC and install it where you want to broadcast the stream. We'll refer to this as the streaming server. Secondly, just follow the below screenshots to be able to connect to Virgin's stream and then output it to a private network (for example at work):


























Now everyone will be glorified by the best rock music ^_^

Ryan's Goes Rock

My band is working hard on new stuff and very soon we'll expose them to you guys. One of the venues which invited us to play is Ryan's Pub. My friend Duncan who takes care of the sound has made a concise blog talking about these rock events in Ryan's Pub. So take a look and hear from us very soon!

Virgin Radio Classic Rock

As they state in their website: Virgin Radio Classic Rock plays 10 great songs in a row, every hour, all day. That's more classic rock songs every hour than any other station.










Whether it's Led Zep with your lunch, or some Pink Floyd to kick start your weekend, we want you to tell us the songs which make you rock out! Get in touch with Russ or Leona to have your ultimate rock requests played live and loud on the air...


This has by far entertained me more than any other mp3 or cd playlist, so I installed the mplayer-mozilla plugin on iceweasel to be able to access the classic rock's streaming. Listen to the rock authority!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Going to nickels

Taking advantage of the fact that I'm on sick leave, I dared to change my current bass guitar strings from the current high end DR 'highbeams' stainless steels to some cheapo Dr.Ducks nickel plated steels which were sitting in my drawer for quite a long time. This is the strategic move towards a warmer and less twangy sound which I had till now. Will try them next Saturday at a small gig in Baystreet - so if they suck, noone will notice :D

Edit (25/02/07): Yummy, nickels did work after all :) A full round warmer sound is what I have...

Friday, February 16, 2007

Carnival at home?

You don't normally hear me ranting, but hell, when am i supposed to get sick? Guess when...

1) I soon have an important gig, or
2) It's a weekend, or
3) There are some cool events coming around

This time it happened to be a weekend and the carnival!!! I was really expecting this weekend :( So I will most probably spend the weekend home considering the fever i'm feeling right now. Carnival 2007 - dressed as a patient - take a mental picture of that - a clinical thermometer in my mouth (better than shoved in my ass), red cheeks, and a silly pyjama. duh...

Update: Oh great, I've been diagnosed with start of a bronchitis. Basically bronchitis sucks.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Podcatching on Linux

Podcatching is a term used when you download podcasts. As a matter of fact I've been lately interested in listening to Toni Sant's podcasts, and since I'm migrating to Linux, it was the ideal moment to start podcatching. So here is a simple how-to guide which can help you listen Toni's podcasts:

1) download hpodder
2) add your hpodder feed (hpodder add http://feeds.feedburner.com/maltamedia/podcasts)
3) list episodes - hpodder lsepisodes
4) if you want to download all episodes, do a hpodder download
5) if you want to dowload all episodes of a given CAST ID (obtained from step 3) just do hpodder download
6) if you want to download just the latest episode, use the catchup parameter: hpodder catchup [cast-id], followed by hpodder download [cast-id]. You may also download the latest two or three (etc) episodes by using the -n parameter after the 'catchup' parameter.

For my particular scenario I cron the following:
- hpodder catchup 9
- hpodder download 9
- gmplayer [podfile].mp3

White Crimson release their demos

Yesterday evening I put some effort together with my band mates, White Crimson, to record our first three demos. Feel free to listen to them on myspace. That is our sound, which I believe is quite original in Malta, and we expect some feedback from you. Remember that whatsoever, Rock will never die!

Driving (Ira Losco crazy)

My old friend Ira Losco has sent me a response regarding an article I wrote about the BMAs best single awards. Now I understand why this person has made all this success in Malta and in Europe - she's a very down to earth person and takes criticism very seriously. She's a real professional and merits my utter respect.

Anyways, to cut things short, the facts, as stated by Jagged House's report are the following:

"'Driving one of your cars' -which was released by a different artist in Sweden 4-5 Years ago was originally, actually written by Malcolm Pardon and Fredrick Rimer -Very good friends of Ira Losco's team .

The label of the original artist didn't believe in the project enough to promote it outside of Sweden. The publishing company who owned the rights of the song....after hearing Ira Losco , asked us if she would be interested to re-record the song. The publishing company is Murlyn and one of the biggest publishing companies in Europe with artists like Madonna etc.... as you can check on Madonna's new album-' Confessions on a dance Floor'. After hearing the demos Murlyn were so impressed that they asked if Ira Losco can re- write some words and therefore including her as a song writer, granting the right to reproduce the song and launch it worldwide. Although they gave permission to re- release it in Sweden we decided not to and also gave credit to the original artist and the original writers as shown in the album sleve of ' Accident Prone' next to 'Driving one of your cars'

One Example- The song 'Toxic' which was released by Britney Spears is not a Britney Spears song and she also won an Mtv Award for that song. The song was done at Murlyn and it was meant for Kylie Minogue and was before released by another pop artist in South Africa. We know this because we've been to Murlyn more than once ...and as explained it was the place where they asked us if Ira Losco would be interested in re-recording 'Driving one of your cars'. These are world class Music industry people with no time to waste.

Financialy speaking the original writers get the writing royalties every time Ira Losco perfoms the song so much so that they've asked us to collaborate on other songs together.....including Ira Losco as a writer.

No one is cheating anyone and doing anything illegal- Far from it. Like in every normal procedure in the music industry the original writers are always to be found next to the name of the song of the album release...as is the case with 'Driving one of your cars' found on Ira's album.

An artist can make a difference in making a song a hit or not. This is common every where around the world. In fact on numerous ocassions the music industry has seen the charts with the same song performed by different artists.

70-80% of the MTV music awards honored songs not originally written by the artist singing them.Example- Christina Aquilera, Madonna , Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Justin Timberlake, Nirvana , Seal , Eminem , Nelly Furtado , The Verve etc... etc...
The Bmas is not a songwriters contest- But an award ceremony honoring local artists and songs aired on Bay Radio ( Only )- The artist, all the songwriters, the production, the performance and the marketing team all together can make a song hit or drop out of the charts.

Ira Losco is the only contemporary artist to get such a huge major deal abroad and get in the top 30 German charts with ' Love me or hate me' to date as well as perform support to such big names as Elton John etc.. Another singer who has made us proud and took his career abroad is Marc Storace who was the lead singer of the band ' Krokus' who incidently also had their hit with a song they didn't write called Ballroom Blitz.

Faith has it that a foreign artist decided to cover 3 songs from Ira Losco which have gone up in the Italian, German charts and aired on Prime time Tv- This is also legal and in this case we pocket financially as the artist would still honor the legal copyright and next to 'Love me or hate me', ' someone Else' and 'Get out ' there is nothing but Ira Losco's name.-The only difference is that the artist contacted us and we gave no permission to change the song...therefore it's called a cover version. In 'Driving one of your cars' it's a different story as the publishing company contacted us and we had permission to change words and arrangement and have rights for all territories.

Ira Losco has never ever said publically or not that she is the original and sole writer of 'Driving one of your Cars'-
Some other examples- Natalie Imbruglia's Multi Million seller- ' Torn ' was a number 1 in 3 countries released by a different artist. 3 years later it was given to Natalie Imbrulgia and became one of the most selling songs of our times...Thanks to Natalie....but all the income generated went to the original writer . Another example is The Verve's ' Bitter Sweet Symphony' which was nothing but a Rolling Stones tune which was then released by Verve and also became one of the most selling songs of our times. Everyone thought it was originally written by Verve ... Oh and it won 2 MTV awards- The list of big hits goes on and on with songs being released after being released by a defiierent artist or not written by the artist releasing the song.

The record company of Kelly Clarkson asked us if one of Ira Losco's songs can be used for her new album. So far Ira Losco's publishing hasn't agreed as they own the copywrite to give the go ahead just the same way Murlyn owned the right.
Ira Losco as clearly shown on the album 'Accident Prone' contributed to 65% of the original writing as logged on the album's publishing Out of which- 7 singles released and all went to TOP 10 ...and six went Top 5.

With 23 awards won, 12 Top 10 singles , two number singles ( Just on Bay Radio...) and 4 No.1 album Sales charts clearily shows that Ira Losco has proven to be a successful, credible and yet incredibly humble artist over and over again.
Bay Radio nominated and awarded the most played and voted song of 2006- 'Driving One of your Cars'- performed by Ira Losco."

Monday, February 05, 2007

Ntfsresize rocks

I've just resized my 100GB NTFS partition to 50GB to leave more space for the Linux box. Read here to know how I have done it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Vertigo

Last year, approximately about this period of time, I commented about Faniello's song which won the Maltese Eurovision song contest. Today I will not comment except for the fact to wish Olivia Lewis her best luck with her song Vertigo. The song was written by Gerald James Borg and composed by Philip Vella.

I don't know if it's my ear or not, but I found that the oriental flamenco pop composition is very similar to the idea and concept we find in Ruslana's song, Wild Dance, which won the contest two years ago. Are we Maltese trying to follow some sort of strategy? (Should we expect an underground Maltese death metal band next year, to compare with Lordi's? :/) tara-ta-tammmmmmm! I foiled the whole conspiracy!

PS: You can find Vertigo's lyrics, and more information about Olivia Lewis, on her website.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Migrating to Linux completely

I'm putting my mind where it used to belong one time, when I used to endorse Linux with great passion. Today I have successfully installed the Nvidia driver on my Debian box by following these instructions. Now I am enjoying 3D acceleration, a 1152x864 resolution and a 75Hz refresh rate! Couple this with Gnome and a 2.6 (i686) kernel, and I'm running a very fast server :)











Apart from that, I managed to get Firefox 2 from here. It was quite a luck actually since Debian Sarge leaves it outdated. Wow, what a browser...just perfect. I also managed to code simple fetchmail scripts to retrieve my Gmail stuff and put them on my local Linux mailbox. I'm using amule as my p2p software, mplayer as the media player and Gaim as my instant messenger client...

...All in all, my migration looks quite positive indeed.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A+ Licence!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially licensed to drive any motorcycle of any capacity. The driving test was around 40 minutes long and all went well. Particular thanks to my dad who has supported me every Sunday afternoon ;)