Sunday, June 24, 2007

Setting up new computers with musical finale

I've set up new computers (one desktop, two laptops) in my home using Windows Vista Ultimate and the new Microsoft Office 2007. The only hitch that took me several hours to unravel was that the cable modem connection I needed required an ethernet not a USB cable. Everything eventually clicked and was in apparently good working order late last night - I even installed a surround sound system around my desktop to create inspiration when it might otherwise be lacking.

I celebrated completing this task by viewing some rock videos on DVD I bought from DirtCheapCDs in Swanston Street. Have you noticed that CDs are vanishing from stores and being replaced by MP3 files? Music stores seem to sell mainly DVDs. This is great if you are a fan of modern music but the format did not even exist when the music that I enjoy most was around.

The DVDs I purchased were recordings of older performances - I thought they were as good as anything I've seen for years and much better than the bopper nonsense my kids listen to - I know my vintage is showing! The three I looked at were:

The Band’s The Last Waltz was a movie made by Martin Scorsese in 1976 just before the group split up. It was released in 2002 as a DVD. The Band is one of the most talented and unique rock-country sounds that I have heard. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell... all joined in with the fun. Extreme musical talent, it sounded - if anything - better than the studio versions of the same material – here are some YouTube clips.

For pure exuberance and good vibes I have heard nothing as extraordinarily vibrant as Tina Turner’s One Last Time In Concert. This was made in about 2000 at Wembley Stadium and she really belts it out in a sweaty, sexy extravaganza. Lots of great sample clips here. The version of "River Deep Mountain High" was good but not up to the standard of the widely-televised version of years ago. I searched YouTube but couldn't find this older version.

Finally, I have been getting enormous pleasure for months from the Roy Orbison and Friend’s DVD Black and White. It is a black and white movie with supremely talented backing musicians. Clips here. Orbison had the most expressive, tragic voice I have heard - why does it feel so wonderful to be moved to tears? Co-performers included Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, and Jennifer Warnes, along with the rhythm section from Elvis Presley's fabled late '60s and early '70s touring band. Great stuff.


Sir Henry said...

Er, MARTIN Scorsese, H.

hc said...

Thanks Sir Henry. Late night post!

Anonymous said...

alah la vista baby

Francis Xavier Holden said...

harry - cheap surround sound off a pc doesn't become you. I'll bet it cost you less than one of your geriatric reds but will last longer.

I'm building up to a series of posts, with shaun of, on proper everyday quality audio and listening. Old fashioned I know but I can't help but defend some good old family values.

hc said...

fxh, It wasn't that cheap but...well its the best I've got. I am not very fussy when it comes to sound - it never comes close to a live performance anyway.

But I'll check out your link and learn.