Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from About The Music

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas. To celebrate, here is the best Christmas video on YouTube:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

What's happening to the new U2 album?

No Line on The Horizon is the title of the much delayed and forthcoming new U2 album. it was meant to arrive in Spring 2008 and then, November. It has now been pushed back to February and U2 have just announced March as the release date.

U2 say "No Line On The Horizon, the new studio album from U2, will be released on Monday 2nd March 2009.

Written and recorded in various locations, No Line On The Horizon is the group’s 12th studio album and is their first release since the 9 million selling album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, released in late 2004.

Sessions for No Line On The Horizon began last year in Fez, Morocco, continued in the band’s own studio in Dublin, before moving to New York’s Platinum Sound Recording Studios, and finally being completed at Olympic Studios in London.

The album calls on the production talents of long-time collaborators Brian Eno and Danny Lanois, with additional production by Steve Lillywhite."

The Irish Independent has an article on how 2008 has treated U2 and the new album.

"It was supposed to be the biggest album of the year, one that would help swell the coffers of Universal Music -- the world's largest record company. But U2 clearly had not read the script."

Read the rest of the article here

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Butter - who knew?

Recently I've been baking cakes, well one cake to be precise - a banana and lemon drizzle cake - a couple of times. Both times it has been slightly different and thanks to this article in the New York Times, I now know why.

Turns out it's the butter.

The gist of the article is that butter is like concrete. It holds everything together. If it gets too hot it breaks down. Being lazy, I melt my butter by zapping it in the microwave. NO!!!! I now know that this ruins it, the bonds will never return again. The butter should look firm, feel cold to the touch but will leave the impression of your finger if you touch it. Then you're ready to cream it and make cookies/cake/brownies etc. It's so important because creaming the butter is what creates the air bubbles in cakes to rise. Baking soda only expands air bubbles, it can not create them.

So there you go - look after your butter.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hamster on a Piano

Just found this on the Time magazine top 10 viral videos. To make it there you must have seen it already, but if you haven't then you must watch this adorable hamster on a piano.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hunted Forever free flash game

Named by Time magazine as the 8th best video game of 2008 (Grand Theft Auto 4 was named number 1) Hunted Forever is a free flash game which is like the Matrix movies where the characters are chased by sentinels. You control a jumping character with flares who must collect machine parts while running from large floating machines with bombs and lasers. It's easy to pick up but very difficult to master. Try it.

Play Hunted Forever here for free

Monday, December 08, 2008

Children in need Christmas Single

Due to growing demand Warner Bros are releasing Sir Terry Wogan and Aled Jones’ version of ‘Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth’ this Monday, 8th December, as a digital download.

It’s to benefit Children in Need and how nice would it be not to have an X-Factor contestant taking the Number 1 slot. Show your support by downloading it.

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Nokia - Comes with music

It's no secret that Nokia has been trying to figure out a way to beat the iPhone and iTunes music store for ages, with no luck so far. But now they are offering a *revolutionary* new way which just might work.

Here's the deal, have as much music as you like for free.

Not bad, and surely the aggressive tactic that is needed. And it's music that you want and have heard of, those providing their cataloguse are EMI - the biggest music label, and a tremendous selection of independent music, courtesy of deals with The Orchard (NASD: ORCD), Beggars Group, IODA, the Ministry of Sound, PIAS and Pinnacle. These companies join Universal Music Group, Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group in supporting Comes With Music. Nokia has also secured music publishing rights from CELAS on behalf of EMI Music Publishing, GEMA on behalf of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, SACEM on behalf of Universal Music Publishing, as well as the MCPS-PRS Alliance.

So with a roster like that you should be able to find just about anything you like. What's the catch? Well there's obviously no such thing as a free lunch, but this is cheap -Comes With Music offers one year of unlimited access to the entire Nokia Music Store catalogue and customers can keep all the music that they have downloaded at the end of the year to continue enjoying their music collection.

Comes With Music will be available across a range of Nokia devices, including the new Nokia 5800 XpressMusic - also announced today and the Nokia N95 8GB and Nokia 5310 XpressMusic.

The United Kingdom will be the first market to offer Comes With Music with sales starting now and the United States sales are planned for 2009. The Nokia 5310 XpressMusic Comes With Music edition is expected to cost GBP 129.95 and people can pre-register their orders for Comes With Music devices from Carphone Warehouse .

I've done a search on the website and the store really does have everything - Bright Eyes, Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Wilco, Ryan Adams, iron and wine.

This might just be enough to make me spend my money and wrestle my iPod out of my hand, but I don't know how good the device is yet.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Great film - King of Kong

On Saturday night I saw a great film - King of Kong: A fistful of Quarters.

It doesn't sound like much but stay with me - there's this guy called Billy Mitchell, in 1982 he set the highest ever score for Donkey Kong (the original nintendo arcade classic), and it has remained unbeaten ever since. He thinks he's pretty amazing, and has a little band of adoring followers.

Then there is a guy called Steve. He's almost been good at a lot of things and keeps striving to make his mark at something. He loses his job and then starts playing Donkey Kong. He sees the high score and figures he'll give it a go. He does and eventually manages a record score, and he has it on video. But, the judges disqualify him because they don't like some guy he's friends with, so they tell him to do it live in person at a games festival. Steve then challenges Billy to go head to head. Who will win?

It's really compelling and the plot twists and turns like it was scripted. The characters are wonderful, Steve and his all American nice guy, Billy and the ego. At the end you can feel the tension.

Rent it or buy it, you'll love it.